By TheSouthernDandy 20 Comments
First off, a disclaimer. I don't consider myself a fanboy. Over the years, I've jumped back and forth from PS to N64 and bought a PS2 on launch day and loved it, bought a Gamecube and thought it was great. I'm of the opinion that in this current generation, both the PS3 and 360 are totally valid and from a games standpoint, bring plenty to the table. That being said, I've been pretty firmly seated in the MS camp since the Xbox. Or to be precise, since Halo. That started my love affair with the black and green monster and its stupid huge controllers and it's continued to this generation.
I've wanted to pick up a PS3 for a while, feeling pretty left out of some amazing games (Uncharted series, Metal Gear 4, Resistance) but I've never gotten around to it and I've been happy with my chosen system. One of the big reasons for this, aside from games, has been Xbox Live. I'm not gonna go into the things it does right, we're all pretty familiar with the details here, but suffice to say, I've had zero problem paying for the service. Lately though...I've been starting to feel differently. And it's surprised me to be honest.
The service still offers everything it used to, solid MP, streaming video, lots of available awesome content to dl, none of that has changed. What has changed, however is what Sony is doing. When Playstation Plus launched, it was easy to look at it and go "yeah thats ok I guess but...meh" but lately, man. They've stepped up their game. I started taking serious notice in June when they announced PS+ members would be getting a bunch of games free including VF5, Infamous 2 and friggin Space Marine, a game I love. The fact that I own it already and would have even if I'd had a PS3 doesn't change the fact that those are some real good games, and they're not that old. Infamous 2 had just turned a year old and Space Marine not even a year. This month, the first two episodes of The Walking Dead. Those just came out! Yeah they're not full price games, but that's still a great deal.
The last free games I got for my Xbox Live Gold account? Two games sponsored by Doritos...granted, the Wipeout game made for a great Quick Look...but Space Marine, it wasn't. When you add to that the fact that the MP is apparently much more stable then it used to be (this im getting anecdotally, I haven't played online on a PS3 in a while) the things Sony is doing with their online service is looking more and more attractive, both their free service and PS+ while Xbox Live is...the same. Hell, they put Netflix behind the pay wall which, the more I think about it, the more absurd that is.
Now I'm not saying I'm ready to jump ship. I'm still ok with paying for Live. This holiday is gonna be bananas with Halo 4, CoD, Borderlands...there's a ton of awesome games coming out. I'm currently playing the hell out of Dust and loving it...I still love my 360. Also we're right around the corner of a new generation so MS making big Live changes right now doesn't make sense. Things could totally change next year with the new consoles and I'm sure it will. All I'm saying is...man...if this same trend continues into the next gen, if Sony keeps doing what they're doing and MS keeps charging what they're charging, I'm gonna have to think long and hard about which system I get behind. Don't make me do it Microsoft. Where else will I get my Halos?
tl:dr Playstation Plus is getting better and better. Free games = awesome. Live is feeling stagnant and overpriced.