When I first brought home the PlayStation 3 in 2006, I already had an Xbox 360. At the time, Xbox Live was the undisputed leader in terms of online service for consoles, and although I was interested to see the Network take early strides on the PS3, I basically dismissed it. I knew it had a long way to go, and while I'd keep an eye on it, I wasn't the type who spends hours and hours online every week, anyway.

But now it's time to reevaluate the situation and I have to say, based on the available software alone, the PSN has Live beat. I like to check both on a relatively frequent basis just to see if I can nab something cool for a great price. Well, the PSN library already has gems like flOw , Flower , Wipeout HD , echochrome , and others, and while I know you can find original Xbox classics on Live, the lineup really can't compare to the PS1 classic selection on the PSN. Furthermore, as third-party developers have now begun to include both the PS3 and 360 in its content production, there isn't much of a discrepancy in terms of add-ons and extra DLC these days. Yes, Live still has the edge, but it's mostly due to the early jump the service had, although I certainly think getting the exclusive rights to GTAIV DLC was big for Live. Beyond that, though, the Network just continues to push forward with some great stuff.

I've also noticed that first-party titles get better support on the Network as far as DLC goes; the amount of stuff on the PSN for LittleBigPlanet , Killzone 2 , Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots , and other exclusives is pretty impressive, and one can almost assume that future exclusives will get the same treatment. Then we have to factor in PlayStation Home, which certainly outdoes the revamped Live with its upgraded Wii-like avatar feature. Of course, many will just point to Live's populace – which isn't even that much bigger than the PSN's now, statistically speaking – and say Live is still more popular, but you have to admit: the PSN closed that gap quick . Now, you're starting to find major developers with their very own dedicated sections on the store, Qore is typically worth a look, and the movie download service is plenty appealing. I know what Live has and I get stuff there, too, but it seems as if the Network is where I'm spending most of my time lately.

Lastly, you've got what are still exclusives in MAG and Final Fantasy XIV , with more like The Agency on the way. Perhaps all of these will help to redefine how we view online gaming and if Microsoft isn't careful, Sony will wrench this crown from the 360's now-tenuous grasp. The Network remains free and if and when Sony drops the price of the PS3, not only will you probably see the PS3 catch up to the 360 in the sales category (the vastly better exclusive lineup will see to that), but you'll likely see the Network start matching Live stride for stride. And I'm only talking about the number of users; just in regards to available software and overall quality, I really think the PSN has more going for it right now.

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Yeah when it launched it was pretty darn sparse, but now theres too much stuff on there for me to keep up with it all. Home is kind of underrated in my opinion, but that stems from the older audience of PS3 owners I think. The youngsters still really love their social networks, but who doesn't want to take a gander at the Home space of the next biggest exclusive?

And more than any of that we have dedicated servers letting us play online multiplayer FOR FREE. Sony needs to make that known more, or better, or mo' betta, or whatever.

chicko1983
chicko1983
11 years ago

downloaded home in the beta but didnt appeal to me

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Well, yeah, it blew back then.

HOODGE
HOODGE
11 years ago

Totally agree @ World Ends with me. Yes you too Ben hit it right on the marks. As an Avid owner of both PS3 and 360 it is pretty much neck on neck now, and PSN is surpassing Live in other areas mainly on STABILITY AND MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAMING. I've put that in capitals as I stress it so hard as so many 360 owners still feel live plays online games way better. And because I'm a huge online game fan and on both systems regularily, I can attest that those comments are based on opinion and not facts. Based on people not owning the PS3 and other fanboys have just fed them that misinformation.

Lives Shared server base architecture cannot compete with Dedicated server performance one bit. I've done a lot of research on Lives shared servers vs. PSN's dedicated servers and it's quite compelling that the latter runs far smoother with very little to no downtime and importantly much stabler.

Microsofts server basis are located in quadrants throughout the world. They have 4 server bases based throughout the world:
1) main base in the US (obviously)
2) Europe
3) Asia
4) Australia

These hubs serve the regions and is what brings gamers from all regions together. It powers all the features found on Live from the community dashboard, multiplayer gaming, marketplace, etc.
Microsoft apparantly went the shared route as they wanted total control over all the developers. In the article I read, many developers like EA did not like Microsofts control over their titles and dlc businesses. Apparantly it's like Microsoft has to have their thumb in every piece of pie and some developers expressed a little dismay over it.

Now the downside of Live's servers is that when the activity level gets to demanding for the servers to handle, you obviously get very piss poor performance from increased lag, disconnects, and games freezing were a reboot of your console is necessary. And I must confess I do not play a ton of shooter games. I'm more in the racing genre, but nether the less, I feel at very times in the week, especially the weekends, my online gaming is rocky at best.

Another time when online gaming is just aweful on live is when a new Gears or Call of duty game comes out. The server activity is so bogged down with people playing those titles, that all the rest of us (including those playing those titles) have to suffer big time.

Today I just read on N4G.com that apparantly the Live team is gonna comeout with a new updated dashboard as the performance of the NXE dashboard was sub par at most. Lot's of lag and stability issues. Now with the announcements of more features like Twitter and Facebook, Radio, etc, they better upgrade the dashboard.

So that is my experience with it. To be quite honest I honestly am not happy with the quality of Live much any more and on top of having to pay a subscription of 50 bucks a year, I'm close to deciding not to renew it once this subscription is done. Just don't see the value in it to have to pay 50 bucks. That's a ton of money MS is raking in and I feel is falling short in giving the consumer his money's worth.

Now comes the PSN.

As you know Sony uses the dedicated server architecture system, and I must say the performance is near flawless from what I have experienced.

The PSN has it's own huge server base for the dashboard/community services/PS Store/internet/Home/and some online gaming support. I beleive they have server bases throughout the world as well, but when it comes to the online gaming arena, most titles have their own dedicated servers which is a huge advantage over Live.

Not only can you cater to a larger audience with dedicated servers, you can have games that offer more player online support. For example the coming soon MAG offers 256 players in one room/Resistance 2 offers 60/KZ2, Warhawk, and Socom Confrontation offers 32 player battles. And the performance is outstanding.

Dedicated servers focus at one task at hand, which is multiplayer gaming, not multitasks like Live has to tend with. Hence the ability to offer seemless/smooth online experiences and at a much broader level.

The biggest online game support I have ever seen on Live was Call of Duty 3 which was 24 players. Modern warfare will support this much as well, and that is it. Any bigger than that and the lag would be atrocious.

Look at Dan Greenwalts Definitive racing game FM3. It only supports 8 where as GT5 on PSN will have 16 online player support. Major difference. And i'll clarify on FM2 even with 3 or 4 car online races, I've seen some pretty bad laggy performance and on a regular basis.

Going back to KZ2 and Resistance 2 for example, I truly can say that I RARELY see lag and never get disconnected from those games. I always play in full rooms as well and am amazed at how smooth the games run. You would never see that quality on Live. Their system wouldn't be able to handle the load. That's why I can't wait to put my hands on MAG this fall. 256 is unheard of even in the PC world, and from the demo we saw at E3, that is online gaming breaking new boundries. It's gonna make Nintendo, Microsoft, and the PC world think that for sure.

On top of amazing online performance, another testemony for me is the stability PSN offers, I maybe froze up 5 times since owning my system for over 2 years now. And I'm on PSN everyday. And one last area i've noticed an improvement over Live now is at the speed of downloading content through the store is definately quicker than Live now. That last update 2.70 I believe definately improved the bandwidth for streaming content. Very impressed.

So in conclusion, PS3 should definately rejoice. We are missing some much needed features Live has like voice messaging/ingame voice chat/ and game invites, but I'm sure all that will come in due time. The best thing is that unlike Lives 50 dollar membership price tag, PSN remains free. And where online gaming counts the most, PSN's dedicated server architecture outperforms Lives shared servers 4:1.

I'm not speaking here as a fanboy of Sony either. I own and love both systems. I'm not taking sides with one over the other. This is just my true experience. I bought my 360 on launch day (on my 3rd now), and My PS3 60gb 3 months after the official launch. I game on a daily basis on both and this is my true experience with both.

Hope this may help some who are hear thinking about which console to buy and which one offers a better online experience. As for the PS3 only owners, you have the best online machine bar none. Enjoy..

Wage SLAVES
Wage SLAVES
11 years ago

@HOODGE

That had to be said. The stability of R2 is AMAZING @ full fledged 60 player rooms! ZERO lag. Its seems your internet speed is Finally the bottle neck as it should be. (Screw DSL)

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

@Hoodge and everyone else – regarding lag in online gaming.

Lag in games is nor primarily caused by your connection's bandwidth. Network lag is mostly a factor of whether you use wireless and how your particular ISP is routed. Someone playing on a Satellite Internet provider for example will have world class lag times that will make online gaming in anything that runs real time controls (combat or racing) nearly impossible. Even a standard DSL or cable connection can have a lot of lag if the particular ISP is a couple of routers further away from the Internet's backbone. If you're in a game with a number of people who use wireless connections at home and perhaps are from far away places or have poor ISPs you will see a lot of lag, and the more players in the game, the more that can multiply. You could for example have players on the east and west coasts of the US playing, and simply the transit time of data from coast to coast bouncing through the various routers will create some lag. Some games are designed to use the data in more conservative ways so that lag is less evident, and some are not. Games like Soul Calibur 4 and Burnout Paradise simply cannot hide the lag the way that a standard FPS can. But even a minor amount of lag can alter the way in which a 'twitch' shooter is played.

Game designers and gamers both have to understand the limitations of the network, and the impact of how your own home network is configured.

It's not generally a matter of XBL vs PSN. Lag is lag regardless. As Hoodge described there are differences in server architectures between the two that have an impact. How those architectures perform will have an impact in terms of any additional network delays and how well the service copes with high levels of data traffic.

At the end of the day though, network lag is network lag.

HOODGE
HOODGE
11 years ago

Highlander I'm just stating my experience with the online gaming function between PSN and Live.
You are right, the quality of your internet connection is indeed a huge factor. Another is how you have your router set up as well especially your NAT settings, if they are restricted or open will determine how well your connectivity will be. (I'm using a 16mb fiberoptic cable connection with a Linksys WRT-160 router. All Hardwired as well.)

But my main message I was trying to get across is how stable and smooth an experience I have personally enjoyed with online gaming on PSN. Many a times I just get downright frustrated at times with Live's performance.

I'm not saying that Live is nothing but a lag fest all the time. It really runs great most of the time, but it is a very inconsistant experience at best. I'm not sure if you own a 360, but if you do, I'm sure you would know what I'm saying.

I know about lag and all that associated with connection quality and going direct hardwired to wireless and I appreciate you're feedback on that.

Still blows me away how smooth Warhawk, Resistance 1&2, and the likes of Killzone 2 run with very little lag if any. And i'm sure they're are various internet users playing that whether being hardwired or wireless. The Performance of dedicated server gaming does shine brightly my friend.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

@hoodge

Sorry, I misunderstood part of your intent in your longer post. I was sure you knew the impact of network lag, but a lot of folks I run into online believe that lag is the fault of MS or Sony and their networks. I just wanted to re-emphasize that part.

I used to play Burnout Paradise a lot, it's a peer-peer game online, so almost all network lag in it is attributable to local network configuration, ISPs and the Internet itself. I lost count of the times I had to point out to folks that the lag they experienced wasn't the fault of PSN or XBL. I also cannot tell you how many times I tried to explain to someone that just because they have fiber to their wall and a gigabit ethernet capable router, network lag doesn't magically go away if someone else in the game session has horrible lag.

There are so many mis-conceptions in networking and online gaming…so many…

HOODGE
HOODGE
11 years ago

Highlander you are absolutely right my friend. I agree 100000% with ya. No sorry's needed.

NinjaMidget
NinjaMidget
11 years ago

@ HOODGE and TheHighlander

The fact that two people have agreed over something in the comments section of a video game report saying that one console is better than the other is so weird that I think it just broke time!

Thank you both for giving me the confidence that not all gamers are idiotic fanboys! You have made my day better with your facts!


Last edited by NinjaMidget on 6/23/2009 7:27:15 PM

BIG_E
BIG_E
11 years ago

Two words:GO SONY!!!

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

Three Words:I like milk.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

wtf

Jian2069
Jian2069
11 years ago

It's funny because half of the population of LIVE is people who make accounts once a month to take advantage of the 1month free signup bonus because they cant afford live :search by people active in the last week and i guarantee PSN outdoes LIVE

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

True true

true ture true

true true true true

Again…true!

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

If that helps you sleep at night

The Stig
The Stig
11 years ago

& Jian2069,

I dont think you can ever make a fair comparison on users of PSN and Live. Like you said people take advantage of the 1 month free trial on Live so they make multiple accounts. But because PSN is free people make multiple accounts too, I alone have 3.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Don't forget all the point farming that happens as well….

Then again lots of PSN users have more than one account so that they can access Home or the PS Store in different regions.

That said, Sony's trophy system does encourage you to stick with a single account. Not sure whether there's a great difference in users with more than one account on either network. Even so, it's still interesting that PSN is nipping at the heels of XBL even with the much vaunted difference in console sales….

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Exclusives get a heck of a lot of love

^That's such an important part of PSN
A beautiful part

And it's good to see more PSN classics coming out for PSN.

It's what evens out all the the other Aracade classics found on XBL

PSN is becoming rpg classics heaven! Now release more of those awesome ps1 rpgs and there we go!

Qwarktast1c
Qwarktast1c
11 years ago

arcade classics get really boring after a while

PSone classics keep the excitement/nostalgic feeling going longer than any arcade classic will

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

The PS1 "classics" offered on the PSN may be better than the original Xbox games offered via Live but IMO the PSN collection of PS1 games has a long way to go. I don't understand what is taking so long to bring true classics to the PSN, yes we've seen FF7, RE, and MGS but all of those were only in the past few months. It's easy money for Sony and if my 13 year old cousin can emulate his favorite games on the PSP I don't see why Sony can't churn out a dozen a week for the PSN.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

I agree, you said it kind of screwed but ya you do have a point, an internationl team of superior programers could do at least one a week but i guess it's legal issues.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Because Sony has to act in a legal manner, so for every game that's released all the legalities and contracts have to be completed. Obviously the PS1 games on PSN use the same emulation on PS3 that a disc based PS1 game would use. So the games sold on PSN are little more than repackaged disc images.

The thing about it is,. no matter hopw many arcade classics XBL has and individually counts as a separate game, FFVII and MGS still trump them all. The PS1 (and in due course PS2) game library is Sony's trump card when it comes to down-loadable games. I just wish they were more active playing it.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 6/23/2009 10:59:06 AM

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

It seems that everyone on the internet just assumes that LIVE is better. The thing they really argue about is the reliability of the networks, aka: connection quality, loading time, disconnects, etc. I really dont play many games online anymore, but what do you guys think about that stuff?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

I don't see a difference in terms of connection quality between the 360 and the PS3. I believe a majority of that has to do with your own individual connection, not the servers. This far along in the gaming process companies have it covered.

The Stig
The Stig
11 years ago

I've definetley had more problems with Live than PSN.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Same here. I couldn't stand paying for that garbage.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

My live has cut out on me four or five times were as my PSN has only once or twice, even then in the early years of PSN

G-WiZ199
G-WiZ199
11 years ago

Sony has done a lot with the PSN and I commend them for doing so (especially since they are only charging us $free.99). To make the PSN perfect they just have to update the browser and keep updating home. Since MS implemented facebook and twitter apps for the Xbox, Sony should some how put those social apps in Home as well…along with streaming movies over the internet via home for your friends.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Playstation Cloud might have that facebook thing covered at least. I'd really like to see that video stuff in Home though. Must be copyright issues or something.

jmo_INDY_Repub
jmo_INDY_Repub
11 years ago

i did that five times at my friends house, we made new accounts every month just because we didn't think Live deserved our money, we play the Network way more. The Network just sounds cool, The Network. Anyways, I propably buy 5 things every week on the PSN.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

I dunno about Home being better than the avatars. It holds true for some people, but not all. I have 5 friends who have PS3's and none of them care or have the time to go on Home.

That includes myself. I would much rather have an avatar that everyone could see that represents me.

I will never pay for online. Never.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Those avatars look dumb. Nothing special really…

Specially since they look like something you'd find in a cheap kiddy game.

Can't wait 'till you can upload your own images for avatars on PSN (that's what they should do).

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

You hurt my avatars feelings. He's all dressed up like a biker from GTA4:LatD

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

How can Home not be better than the Xbox Mii/avatars? Home is a substantive environment where you can do things as well as customize your avatar. The XBL avatar is just an avatar, there is no destination, no where for it to go, nothing for it to do. I just don't see any comparison between the two.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

In theory. It depends on what you're looking for. Home is not for everyone. Like I said, I don't know a single person who has even been on it. All my friends are over 24 and have jobs. We sometimes don't even have enough time to play games!

So for people like us, we would rather just have an avatar.

Home could have a million spaces, and I still wouldn't be on it.

I know Home in theory is better than avatars, but it just doesn't appeal to me at all. The character models are really corny looking, and the spaces take too long to load, and the games take forever to play because everyone is always camping around.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

LOL, if Home avatars look corny then what on Earth can you say about the NXE avatars?

As for game camping, it's a real problem in Home. Home needs something that's familiar to people in the UK. It needs queues. When you want to play a game, hit a button to join the queue for the game, stick around and you'll get your turn in order of the queue. No line jumping, and if you walk away, you lose your place and have to rejoin the queue at the end.

There, Britain's shining achievement in civilization, we know how to queue (line up and wait our turn) for something.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

The Live Avatars aren't that bad. The home avatars look corny and kinda freaky. It's like I don't even have one, because I don't go into home.

So that's what I mean.

If I had Live, I would at least have an avatar.

But to tell you the truth, I don't care for either. But I would choose an avatar over Home.

XJGunz
XJGunz
11 years ago

Well, let's be honest. Live still has PSN beat in some regards. With the fact that Live players have to pay $50 a year, it would only make sense that it would have more features (which PSN will hopefully get soon as well). I'm still trying to find X-game voice chat and invites on PSN. D:

With the recent momentum of PSN lately though, I'm sure we're bound to see these features soon. Here's to hoping, fingers crossed.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

They're there

Keep looking
Laziness will get you nowhere

By the way, you only mentioned ONE feature.

If you're gonna claim that XBL has so many features and such then why not list them?

XJGunz
XJGunz
11 years ago

Well, I'm not some xbot if that's what you're trying to insinuate. And nowhere did I say that Live had so many features, I just stated it had more than the PSN, which is still playing catch-up. For example, trophies is their rebuttal against achievements, etc. I'm not saying that the 360 is "OMG. teh best online experience EVAR" but since you do pay a price, it might as well be a good one. For a free experience like PSN, it's only getting better.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Wasn't insinuating that you were a 360 fan.

But when you say that "for example" you can't find the Live chat option on PSN it throws me off. You can live chat on PSN.

I just don't see what these other features are or if they're even that important.

kratos17
kratos17
11 years ago

IMO
microsoft can have the title for best online capabilities
because sony dominates when it comes to exclusive games

Bugzbunny109
Bugzbunny109
11 years ago

LOL Scarecrow, your so defensive!

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Ah, I was wondering when this would get mentioned. The one feature that XBL has over PSN, chat.

Hey, guess what, I have a TELEPHONE, it does multi-party calls too.

PSN has voice chat as well, the only difference is that PSN doesn't support cross-game voice chat because each game effectively has it's own VOIP channel.

I honestly have never seen this as a huge feature anyway, and I'm always amused by people who hold it up like some kind of talisman of goodness that XBL has over PSN. Behold the Mighty Voice Chat of KARMAK!

<rolling eyes>

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Skype

XJGunz
XJGunz
11 years ago

Plus, I don't understand why I have 6 thumb downs. I'm sorry I think that the Live service has more features. I'm sorry, I think PSN is doing a lot to close that gap. I don't know what else to say. Yes, I do think Live is superior, but I'm not saying that PSN is the worst service ever. PSN is doing a lot of things right, and whats best is that it's free. I'd say as soon as Cloud comes up they should pretty much be neck-and-neck (that is it the rumored features are true)

XJGunz
XJGunz
11 years ago

Plus, I don't understand why I have 6 thumb downs. I'm sorry I think that the Live service has more features. I'm sorry, I think PSN is doing a lot to close that gap. I don't know what else to say. Yes, I do think Live is superior, but I'm not saying that PSN is the worst service ever. PSN is doing a lot of things right, and whats best is that it's free. I'd say as soon as Cloud comes up they should pretty much be neck-and-neck (that is it the rumored features are true)

kratos17
kratos17
11 years ago

i think more people will buy a 360 simply because they see a $100 difference

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Or maybe it's because Microsoft is always improving the service? Or perhaps it's the fact that Update to Live go across all game past, present, and future. Live isn't an Online Gaming Portal… it's heart of the Xbox 360. Microsoft wont be one upped this gen because Sony didn't understand until it was almost to late how important online was. Microsoft made many mistakes with the 360, but integrating Xbox Live so closely into the system effectively making it the heart that beats the blood of the system they really struck gold.