Xbox Live vs PSN: The Clash Between Sony and Microsoft Plans

Since 2001, when Microsoft came with the release of Xbox to compete directly with Playstation 2, Microsoft and Sony, have been dueling for the lead in the gaming industry. When comparing both offers, players usually consider factors such as consoles capacity, exclusive Xbox or PlayStation games, prices, and, of course, Xbox Live and Playstation Network services.

Today we’ll help you decide what service is the best for you. So, turn on your TVs, get your controllers, and start your consoles as we dive into the eternal battle of Xbox vs. Playstation!

Differences in the Services Offered

The first thing to highlight is that Sony and Microsoft have the same number of services, but not necessarily with each one as a direct correspondent. Sony comes with the Playstation Network and the Playstation Network Plus. On the other hand, Microsoft offers two plans Xbox Live Free and Xbox Live Gold.

But the confusion begins with the Xbox Game Pass and the Xbox game pass Ultimate. PlayStation answers with Playstation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium. And they may have some key differences.

PlayStation Network vs Xbox Live: The Free Possibilities

In terms of free services, Xbox doesn’t stand up for a fight. Sony and Playstation Network are the winners. The reason is simple: they offer things that go beyond console basic possibilities in their free versions.


For instance, the main thing is that in the free version, Xbox live doesn’t give you the chance to play games online, except for some free-to-play games. Besides that, services like Netflix are also not available. Without online gaming, players have to run to the single-player possibilities of every game they want to play. The free version allows players to create a gaming profile, use a gamer tag, create a friends list, and access other basic features of the console. Online multiplayer is available only for free-to-play titles.


On the other hand, with Playstation Network, players can play online, no matter the game. Besides, services like Netflix and Hulu are available, not to mention all the basic console features, such as profile creation, friends list, etc.

Here Comes the Money: Playstation Plus Essential and Xbox Live Gold

Things will start to turn to the Xbox side soon enough but not just yet. To access Playstation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, you will need to open your wallet. Finally, with Xbox Live Gold, Xbox players will get access to an online gaming service, being able to play games online. PlayStation players have free online multiplayer access, but that alone isn’t enough to end the fight, no matter how good online play can be.

It is important to say that Xbox Live Gold and Playstation Plus are, in many different aspects, equivalent services. But, before saying which is the best, we will run through the features of both.

Xbox Live Gold Features

More than just an online service, Xbox Live Gold offers its users some interesting features. To begin with, it is vital to say that it is more stable and has a more reliable connection than Playstation Network, even though the difference is not significant most of the time. Besides that, users with Xbox Live Gold get access to demos and betas before the other users.

Deals with Gold

The first feature is the deals with gold. Here, Microsoft offers some awesome deals for Xbox games. And you won’t find only old titles; some new games also appear regularly with decent discounts. The saves generally go from 50% to 75% discount.

Games with Gold

The feature games with gold allow any user to get free games constantly. There are generally two free Xbox games every month. You will be able to download them and play as much as you want. The only thing you must remember is that the titles taken from that game library are only available while your Xbox Live Gold subscription stays active on your Xbox console. If you cancel it, you lose access.

If you cancel the signature, the game is still there, but you won’t be able to play it. Your free game comes back if you subscribe to the plan again. The list of games included in the feature includes titles developed by Xbox game studios and some third-party studios, like some of the games available in EA Play.

Playstation Plus Essential Features

Just like Xbox Live Gold, Playstation Plus is a paid PlayStation network service that offers many features for its users. The main features are discounts and, once again, some free games to increase players' library. Online play was already available in free versions. So basically, the same benefits of Xbox Live Gold.

Game Discounts

Just like its competitor does on Xbox consoles, Sony allows any user to get some discounts on games available on the Playstation Store. The difference is that these discounts have a bigger range when compared to Microsoft store ones. Some also say Xbox Live Gold is more generous, while Playstation Plus charges more for these games.

Free Titles

Playstation Plus offers some free monthly games, just like Xbox Live Gold. Plus gives access to PS4 and PS5 games and doesn’t give only two free games as you can get one PS5 and two PS4 titles per month. Of course, a PlayStation 5 game is only available on that specific console. New PS Plus games come on the first Tuesday of every month.

Even More Advanced Plans

Well, now we finally got to the most advanced plans Microsoft and Sony have to offer. Besides Xbox Live Gold and Playstation Plus “basic,” both companies have two other services. As mentioned before, on Sony's part, the plans are Playstation Plus Extra and Premium tiers. On the other hand, Microsoft brings Xbox Game pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Let’s go through their features.

Playstation Plus Extra

This plan is the equivalent of the Xbox Game Pass on its basic version. Here, players have an exclusive catalog of PS4 and PS5 games to choose from and download. According to Sony, it has more than 400 games available. All you need is to pay a fee per month. New games are constantly added.

Xbox Game Pass

Now we follow with Playstation Plus Extra direct competitor: Xbox Game Pass. For some time, it was the best catalog of games you could find, but recent improvements to Playstation Plus made it more advantageous. That’s because of the number of games available, since Sony’s plans can reach 700. Xbox Game Pass plans offers something close to 300 different games.

The good thing is that Xbox Game Pass is divided between console and PC games. It is worth remembering that Microsoft also produces Windows operating systems for computers, so integration between Xbox and PC is expected. There, you will have an exclusive catalog full of great games for PC. This means that Playstations users with good PCs could easily subscribe to both.

PS Plus Premium (Deluxe)

That is the moment where things start to get insane. The Playstation Plus Deluxe version gives its users all the features available. It is the biggest plan offered by Sony. Its game catalog reaches more than 700 games, making it the biggest library available so far.

Besides all that was already available in the other versions, PS Plus Deluxe members gain access to Playstation 1, 2, and 3 classics. Alongside it,  a full list of PSP titles is available as well. That way, players can get all Sony has ever produced. Limited game trials are also available. Thus, if you aim for as many games as possible, this is the right choice as no other company offers a catalog of free games that big.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

To complete, it is time to talk about the Game Pass Ultimate, the direct competitor for Playstation Plus Deluxe on the Xbox systems. In terms of the game catalog, going from the normal Game Pass to its Ultimate version doesn’t change anything, which is a great feature for the basic plan.

The main things you get exclusive access to with the Ultimate game pass are a bunch of perks and add-ons for some of the Xbox series and Microsoft's most famous titles. It also gives cloud storage for your game saves. To complete, you get some free trials for programs like Crunchyroll, YouTube premium subscription, and more.

Price Comparison

Another extremely important factor to consider is the price both companies ask for their services and their different plans. Even though some of the features are pretty similar, the prices may change from company to company.

Xbox Plans

Xbox Live Gold: $9.99/month

Xbox Game Pass (No Live Gold Included): $9.99/month

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Live Gold Included): $24.99/month


Playstation Network Plans

Playstation Plus Essential: $9.99/month

Playstation Plus Extra: $14.99/month

Playstation Plus Deluxe: $17.99/month

It is worth noting that there are sites such as RoyalCDKeys, where subscriptions can be purchased at better prices.

Xbox vs Playstation: Exclusive Games

When considering exclusive games, is no mystery that Playstation has a comfortable lead. As a part of Sony’s strategy, many of these PSN exclusives are also released for PC. Of course, these games aren’t available for Xbox, come far sooner for Playstation, and are still under Sony’s “protection.” Some of their best exclusives include:

  • God of War Franchise and Ragnarock (Still to come)
  • Uncharted Series
  • Marvel’s Spider Man
  • The Last of Us Saga
  • Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West
  • Shadow of Colosus Remastered
  • Days Gone
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Detroit Become Human

Microsoft also created its Xbox exclusives and has some memorable games and franchises. Some of those that distinguish themselves are

  • Halo Franchise
  • Forza Horizon Franchise
  • Gears/Gears of War Series
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Sunset Overdrive


And that’s the end of the detailed comparison of Xbox Live and Playstation Plus plans. As you see, it’s difficult to determine a one-fits-all plan. It’s a part of a far more complicated question, that is: which is the best console for you? To find an answer, you must look for much more than just the plans offered.

Talking only in terms of plans, it's pretty acceptable to have both as well. Everybody has a PC at home, and if it is at least decent, you can enjoy some insane games with the Game Pass without an Xbox Series. So, if you decide on Playstation and PS Plus, the Xbox Live game pass will still be a great addition.

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