Xbox live vs Steam vs PSN

I thought this might be of interest to some of you, an extract of a debate on the relative merits of Xbox live between me (Tom) and Ealiom. Join the debate in the comments!


I don’t even have xbox live paid for. Penny arcade said they were upset about the price rise. I was upset at the prospect of paying full stop. People balk and get upset when they pay taxes and are then taxed again and again. In this case I have bought Microsoft’s gaming machine, I have bought the game and I have paid for the internet access. I should not have to pay for the right to play that game the way it has been designed to be played and not even to the developers but to Microsoft. It’s the only reason I don’t buy the 360 versions of cross-platform games.


I hear what you’re saying, it’s a consumer choice and you pay for what you think is worth the money.

Microsoft pays for the multiplayer platform and the infrastructure for the developers and gamers to use though. They could give it away for free, but I have no problem with them charging for it. Matchmaking, truskill, gamer profiles etc etc is all paid for by Microsoft and the multiplayer net code is handled and paid for by Microsoft. If they didn’t do this, much fewer games would even have a multiplayer component.


Yeah I get that they have led the way and I applaud them for that. But Valve don’t charge and they’re developers. It’s in Microsoft’s best interests to do what they have done and imho it’s probably why they have “won” this console “war” but to charge for that victory ………

So while I can see that the service is probably value for money I can’t justify spending more (however little it actually is) on playing things I have already bought.

I can imagine the uproar if Valve said they were going to charge £2 a month to use their service… Its £2… buttons. The principle though, as cheap and thrifty as it sounds is, what matters. To me anyway.


Steam runs on windows (which you pay for) which handles the low-level networking stuff for your pc and you have to buy that too. It’s a good comparison because Microsoft would say that its doesn’t offer anything like the same service as Xbox live (which is true to an extent) but the real reason they can’t charge is because steam has competitors on the same platform and xbox live doesn’t.

No matter what, we pay for steam, PSN and Xbox live one way or another. Each of them exist as something that is both a service and a shop front, but to different extents.


No matter how you phrase it I can’t stomach paying £5.99 a month for something I already have. (If) there was no alternative I would be forced to pay so until Sony decide to charge for PSN I will not be giving them a penny. I don’t particularly like consoles for online play as it stands, which is another important facet to my reasoning. My experience of Halo3 online was grim, CoD4 likewise it felt… uuurgh?! detached?

In games I played frequently on the PC I would chat and send emails to the other players I met all the time. I was invited to groups and heard their voice over teamspeak. I got invited to CS:S league matches. I got frantic emails sent about something happening in EVE. Players on the console never gave me any of that. For all it was supposed to be social it felt detached.

I can feel Tom shaking his head.

The 360 has the infrastructure and one stop portal to all your games and contacts… This is greater than the PC or PS3. The PC has far better ability for you to meet, talk to and get to know players. This to me greatly increases a games fun-ability than running alongside a faceless voiceless guy named dickconnisuer89.

Stop shaking your head. 🙂


I have largely the opposite experience, but I play far more console games online so have more exposure to console players. I get messages from streetfighter players and have had good recent experiences chatting and cooperating on Monday night combat. I think PC gamers are generally better people, xbox live is full of some of the worst people on earth. They tend to be worse in COD4 and Gears than in most other games though, Battlefield and the like have good communities on PC and console.

It’s still 40 quid for a year here in the uk which doesn’t add to 5.99 a month. It might go up, but at less than 4 quid a month I don’t think it’s a bad deal for what you get.

Incidentally the only place that has ever had as many dicks as COD was Counter strike when it was popular. Back when it was the most played game online it was full of unbelievable racism and abuse. I guess that just means the most popular games have the majority of the tards; it’s not about PC vs console but popular franchise vs niche fanboys title. It seems like mainstream gamers should just GTFO.

Can I put this discussion online?


Haha sure, just edit it so I sound wittier! ;p

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