“Xbox Live is Old News” Why?

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Anyone who’s ever read my work knows I don’t normally do this, but for some reason I felt compelled to respond. I read an article today talking about how PSN+ trumps Xbox Live, which had the potential to be a decent piece if the author had provided any relevant comparison of either service. Instead I was greeted with cold hard journalistic research informing me of important facts like: “Sony’s PlayStation Network to hold the crown for offering the best network to PS3 and PS Vita owners” or  “it is one thing to claim that the PS3 is better than Xbox 360, which is a sometimes forgotten fact.” Although I was shocked that Xbox Live and Steam would take a backseat to PSN on PS3, I continued to read. Claims such as the latter would be more well met if they were supported later in the article but the author fell short in that regard. What we’re left with is the all familiar stench of Sony bias we’ve come to expect from their, and every other, community of sensitive and angry, yet painfully loyal, gamers.

Yes this, and many other angst fueled articles that land on the front page of news and fan sites are the norm and generally receive an amount of attention that would make any person with claims of being a professional games journalist, cringe in disgust. Yet fanboyism lives, in our profession, in our games, on our forums, in our game stores, in our chatrooms and just about any where else gaming conversations exist. But we all know why those articles are written and we all know why we bite. Every. Single. Time.

Getting down the brass tacks of why I wrote this article, I just wanted to tell our readers what I thought of this “popular” article. All of these opinionated platform comparisons by “writers” are pointless, people read comparisons for facts, if they’re not listed out then I don’t care. Why? Because truly I don’t really care what you think is the best choice for me. The fact is, choices any of us make in an online, or any other, gaming experience comes down to what we can afford and what our personal preference is, that’s it. You can cry til the cows come home that XBL is better or PSN is better, Steam is better, PC is better, Atari and a buddy on the couch is better, whatever, just play what you want to play. And if you’re going to write a bullshit article comparing them at least do some research and provide a legitimate and informative comparison that people can discuss. It’s drivel like this that insults our profession and why games journalism is generally perceived as a joke.

I agree with those that say PSN+ raised the bar in what a console premium service should and could offer to paying subscribers and yes Microsoft should improve in that regard, but that’s where it ends. Sony missed the boat this generation with online and that’s not a Xbox fanboy remark, it’s a fact supported by much mathematical proof.

You may get angry that I said it, but the fact remains that if we’re comparing the number of paying customers, not what perks are provided to those customers, Xbox Live wins. And I know this is a cold reality for some of you but, revenue and profit are what measures success in the world of business. Unfortunately how satisfied your customers are is secondary to the fact of whether they continue to pay or not.

I pay for both those services which is over $100 a year, I paid for a WoW (World of Warcraft) account for over 2 years at $15/mth, I pay for Internet service, cellular service, Netflix, a roof over my head, food, water, hydro, a vehicle, fuel, the list goes on and on and on. Why? Because I want them. I don’t particularly need all those things but I enjoy them so I work for them. The same goes for my games, although I agree the expense can feel unjustified at times, I still enjoy the niche of each service I pay for or else I wouldn’t pay for it. I don’t complain about them, I don’t seek vengeance on their creators because they aren’t offering what I think they should, I don’t insult or belittle their collective userbase, I’d sooner cancel my payment and move on with my life.

I, like many, knew what was involved in an Xbox Live membership and what it cost from the get-go and still pay for it to this day because it offers me things PSN can’t and doesn’t. Playing on a PC offers me things neither console or their online services provide, playing Mario Kart on the N64 with my fiance offers me something none of them do but I’m not complaining that games aren’t 64-bit with a terrible controller.

The point I’m trying to make here is everything can’t and won’t be the same. Hoping and complaining that MS introduces a PSN+ clone or that PSN provides the services that XBL does is just silly, they’re not in the business of being the same. Each company will want to implement their own “innovative” initiatives to compete in their industry, expecting them to just flat out carbon copy one another because a couple thousand fanboys are upset on the Internet is blasphemous.

Anyway, that’s my rant guys thanks for reading.

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Author: Darren Durham View all posts by
North American Editor & Social Media Creative Director for MasonicGamer.com Follow me on Twitter! @DarrenMGR