Weighing Your Options: Xbox Live Games With Gold vs. Playstation+ Instant Game Collection

Hello, DBAHdians, CharlieDanger82 here. A lot of people give us a bit of a bad rap on our slight favoritism for Sony’s Playstation 3 and the Playstation Network. Believe it or not, it isn’t fanboyism or to be different or piss people off. It’s because we work damn hard for our money and we want the best value for what we spend it on. So when a company offers incentives for our online subscription services, we take notice of said incentives.

An Xbox Live Gold Membership costs $59.99 and it get’s you access to play online, exclusive sale prices, and a few other features, but for now, let’s focus on the free stuff. Xbox Live Games with Gold Started June 10, 2013 and the program works like this: If you’re a gold member you get 2 free games a month that our permanently yours, no matter what (i think that means if you download them and erase them from your hard drive, you can always download them again.)  This is a good incentive, and to be fair it’s in it’s infancy, so the games are… well… see for yourself:

Games With Gold Free Games:
Fable 3
Defense Grid: the Awakening
Assassin’s Creed 2
Crackdown
Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising Case Zero
Magic the Gathering 2013
Rainbow 6: Vegas
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
Halo 3
A World of Kelflings
Iron Brigade
Gears of War
Shoot Many Robots
Sleeping Dogs
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

As you can see it’s a smattering of older games, arcade games and games every owner of an Xbox 360 has already. But, Free is free and they’re dishing out 2 free games a month, so for people itching for nostalgia or have trade in regret, it’s a good deal. Also, we have yet to see if they will be offering any Xbox One titles in addition to the 360 titles (I mention this because it’s a bit important for the next part.) But, once again, it’s just starting out, so let’s see where it goes.

Playstation + Started on June 29th 2010. A 12 month membership costs $49.99 and it also gives you access to play online (at least on the PS4 it does) and offers additional discounts to regular sale prices. The free games offered through PS+ is called the Instant Game Collection. Now the free games that you get through the Instant Game Collection work a little differently from Games With Gold. Free Games With Gold are you’re to keep, whereas the Instant Game Collection is yours as long as your PS+ membership is active. If your membership is cancelled or you let it run out without renewing it, the games remain on your hard drive, but you can’t access them. While this may seem like a poorer option compared to the Xbox model, since you’re going to need the membership for online play, you’re likely to renew anyway. Also, some of the free titles stay free for up to 2-3 months after they are released. Also, the Instant Game Collection is not limited to the PS3. Games are offered for the PS3, the PS Vita and now the PS4. I started my membership on 8/24/13, and these are the titles that have been offered:

Free Playstation 3 Games:
Saint’s Row the Third
Jet Set Radio
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Little Big Planet Karting
Hitman: Absolution
Machinarium
Oddworld: Munch’s Odessy HD
Runner 2
RE: Darkside Chronicles HD
Galaga Legions DX
Ico
Kingdoms of Amular: the Reckoning
Shadow of the Colossus
Poker Night 2
Hotline Miami
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Ibb & Obb
Binary Domain
Grid 2
DYAD
Borderlands 2
DmC
Bioshock Infinite

Free Playstation Vita Games:
Uncharted Golden Abyss
Gravity Rush
GTA: Liberty City Stories
Wipeout 2048
Rayman Origins
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD
Darkstalkers: the Chaos Tower
Soul Sacrifice

Free Playstation 4 Games:
Resogun
Contrast
Warframe
Don’t Starve

As you can see, I’m getting a lot more bang for my buck from my PS+ membership. Even the most die hard console loyalist really can’t deny the value of the incentives you get though Instant Game Collection outweigh the Games With Gold program. Now as I said before, time will tell with Games With Gold, since it’s still just starting out. To be truthful, when the Instant Game Collection started it truly left a lot to be desired as well, but look how far it’s come. This is not a condemnation of the Xbox 360. Every Friday Night DBAHchery is held on the Xbox 360 and it is the Team’s console of choice when it comes to gaming together. This is just some insight into a program that a few of us really like and will stand behind because what it has given back to it’s subscribers. Money is tight all over and the reason we Check the Flyers every week on the podcast is to try and save DBAHdians from all over some of their hard earned cash. Thanks for your time and remember: Don’t Be A Hero!

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