Sony Beats Microsoft With PlayStation Plus Value In 2014

Jonathan R. Clauson - Author

Dec. 14 2014, Updated 7:52 p.m. ET

A cursory glance at the offerings from PlayStation Plus and Games With Gold, it is clear Sony beats Microsoft in terms of the value of their respective subscription services. Those who wish for more tangible validation need only to look at a very detailed report published today by PushSquare. The report details the amount of free games and the quality of the games released in both North America and Europe over 2014.

The report from PushSquare asked a simple question: Did PlayStation Plus represent value for money in 2014? The answer is an astounding yes. All told, Sony gave away $1,349.29 worth of games and software in North America and £960.64 in Europe. Averaged out that is $112.44 per month for a service that is $49.99 per year.

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PlayStation Plus originally launched as a value-added service for the PlayStation 3 and PSP platform in 2010. It was debuted at E3 the same year by then CEO of SCEA, Jack Tretton. PlayStation had already set a precedent with free online gaming and access to other services such as Netflix and Hulu whereas Microsoft hid both behind the Xbox Live Gold subscription paywall.

The original features of PlayStation Plus offered perks on top of the free offerings such as automatic downloads of new demos, game patches and system software updates. Other perks included exclusive beta tests, premium content such as avatars and themes through the Qore show that released each month. The following year saw the introduction of 150MB of cloud storage for saved game files. This amount was later increased to 1GB.

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The most attractive part of the offer was the Instant Game Collection which saw a rotation of games that could be downloaded and kept for as long as the PlayStation Plus subscription was active. The service extended to the PS Vita and PlayStation 4 and was eventually standardized to release six games a month, two on each of the respective platforms. The collection ran with a good variety of games ranging from indie titles to AAA developed blockbusters. Don’t Starve, Bioshock: Infinite, Borderlands 2, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and more were all part of the Instant Game Collection during the year. The average Metacritic score of all the games offered over 2014 come in at 79 in North America.

Microsoft followed suit not long after with a similar program called Games With Gold. While no comprehensive study has been done on the Games with Gold offerings from Microsoft yet, cursory glances at the two subscription plans from the Inquisitrshow a discrepancy in the quality, quantity and age of the games offered by Microsoft as opposed to Sony’s.

The big caveat to all this is that if the PlayStation Plus subscription lapses at any time, all the games are locked and unplayable until the subscription is renewed. However, Jason Evangelho from Forbes rightly stated, “I’m not sure why canceling would ever become a reality.”

Even as Sony beats Microsoft this year in terms of value for a subscription, Phil Spencer is working hard to turn around the reputation of the Xbox One after the disastrous launch of the latest console from the Redmond, Washington-based company. Phil Spencer is a man who loves games and it while it takes time to turn a ship around, Microsoft is working hard and the competition will only mean good things for gamers on both platforms.

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