Hardcore gamers do not like to admit that the Nintendo Wii has been the best selling console of the current generation. However, second place goes to the Microsoft Xbox 360. If you remember, it came out almost a year before the other consoles. Third place goes to the PlayStation 3 but it has seriously been gaining momentum over the last year and a half. One of the reasons why is the PlayStation Plus Network.
When I got my Xbox 360, I signed up for the Xbox Live Gold membership. It gave me access to online games and Netflix. I soon found out that I am not much of an online gamer. I tried Call of Duty but it seems like I just went out onto the maps and died repeatedly. It may have been fun for the others online, but for me – not so much. That pretty much left Netflix streaming services, which I absolutely enjoyed. Then I downloaded the Netflix app to my Wii and to my Playstation 3 and I asked myself, “Why am I paying for this Gold membership just so I can watch Netflix?”. So I went to the Microsoft Live website and discovered that it was impossible (at that time) to cancel online. I had to talk to a human being. I called and talked to a human being at Microsoft. He told me about all the cool stuff I could do with my gold membership, convinced me to renew, and upgraded me to a family membership. He also told me Microsoft would only charge me $40 for the year when it was time to renew. When the time to renew came, I was charged $99 dollars. Thank you Microsoft for the hassle. Needless to say, after that I talked to another real person at Microsoft and cancelled my Gold membership for good this time.
Up to this point, I’ve been so occupied with talking about what is so bad about Microsoft Live that I’ve virtually ignored the subject of this blog. That’s because Sony has done the opposite of Microsoft. On the Playstation Network, If I want to play online games, I can do it because it is free. If I want to watch Netflix, I can do it because it is free. Sony provides extra incentive to subscribe to PlayStation Plus by offering extras such as “free” software. Playstation Plus members get a wide variety of games with the subscription. Not just junky flash-based games, but real honest to goodness titles such as Infamous 2, Warhammer Space Marines, Little Big Planet 2, Lara Croft – Guardian of Light, and Gotham City Imposters. These are some games that you can sink your teeth into, that you can spend some time in. I can’t wait to find out what’s coming in August. There is only one catch, you can play these games as long as your subscription does not lapse. A year subscription is $50 – but I can spend that on a single trip to the movies for two with popcorn and drinks.
I would not be surprised if at the end of this console generation, the Playstation 3 will have passed the Xbox 360 in sales. PSN+ is the difference maker.