"I had Xbox LIVE for 10 years and didn't have as many outages as I have in my first year of PSN. It's crap."
I want to thank russ3333 for that comment there, left in the wake of the announcement that Sony would be performing maintenance on the PSN service the night before Far Cry 4 and the new-gen version of GTA V are due to be released. Sony even added in a disclaimer, warning that although the PSN was slated to come back online at midnight (at which point both games launch) the maintenance work could overrun. Given the long history of PSN downtime, you'd probably get competitive odds on the PSN still being offline by the time you got back from the midnight launch.
While writing this article, Sony announced that they were moving the scheduled maintenance forwards by an hour.
I had both an Xbox 360 and a PS3 for the majority of the previous console generation, and I did most of my multiplayer gaming on Xbox LIVE. It seemed ridiculous, sure -- you could play for free on PS3, after all -- but, as we've mentioned several times here onsite, Xbox LIVE proved to be far more stable and reliable and worthwhile in that regard. Sure, I was paying a £30 (under when there was a good deal, and there was always a good deal) premium per year, but that really wasn't much in the grand scheme of things.
PlayStation Plus changed all of that, of course. Here was a subscription service that delivered an outstanding smorgasbord of free games and excellent discounts, and it kept getting better and better. Suddenly, you didn't really need to buy games any more for your PS3.
Of course, standing at the end of 2014, the subscription services on Xbox One and PS4 are broadly similar. You need subscriptions to play online across both platforms now, and Microsoft introduced Games With Gold to try and rival PlayStation Plus. The two subscriptions cost about the same, but although there are broad similarities and parallels, it's clear that each side's original strengths still remain their biggest selling points.
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