One June 5, 2012, Sony did something that seriously enhanced the allure of the PlayStation Network. During its E3 2012 press conference, Sony revealed the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection. On that day, Infamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, Virtua Fighter 5, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, Just Cause 2, Saint’s Row 2, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Hard Corps: Uprising, Choplifter HD, Zombie Apocalypse Never Die Alone and Sideway: New York were all made free to PS Plus subscribers. In the months following this announcement the PlayStation Plus has proven to be a better value than Xbox Live Gold.
My reasons for feeling this way are simple. The suggested retail price for a Xbox Live Gold membership is $59.99 a year as opposed to $49.99 for PlayStation Plus. For that $60, Microsoft doesn’t provide you with anything you can’t access somewhere else for free. Why should we have to pay Microsoft to access Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go or any other video subscription service we already pay for? Why, in 2012, are we still paying for online multiplayer? There was a time when Xbox Live was the place to go for console-based multiplayer games. I would argue it was worth paying for at that time. But that time has passed. Xbox Live offers no real value for your dollar. It just opens the door to content you already pay for. I would argue the only reason why most people still pay for Xbox Live Gold is because that’s where all their friends are, and giving Microsoft $60 a year has become so routine, no one questions it anymore.
If you have $50 to spare, I can’t recommend PS Plus enough. The number of free games you get will pay for that subscription on the first day. If you happen to have a Vita, you’ll get even more free games and cloud storage space. Best of all, the Netflix and multiplayer are free.