Both Microsoft and Sony offer free games to subscribers to their premium services. New games are offered each month, and a comparison between the two services is inevitable.
Microsoft is still only offering free games for the Xbox 360, which is a major hit against the Games with Gold program. Sony offers games for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita for a total of six games. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are each offering two games, so even if you only compare the Xbox 360 with its generation’s counterpart, the two are equal as far as number of games offered.
For genre variety, both Sony and Microsoft are offering mostly action games, though PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD on the PS Vita is a strategy game. There’s not a huge discrepancy between the genre variety of April’s games.
Both Hitman: Absolution and Deadlight are from 2012. Batman: Arkham City is the oldest game on the list, being from 2011, but PlayStation also offers Mercenary Kings, which is a brand-new game that came out on April 1. The rest of PlayStation’s games are from 2013, so Sony is offering newer games than Microsoft this month.
The total value of the games from Games with Gold is $34.98, while the PlayStation Plus games total $87.44.
The average value of the games offered by Microsoft is about $17.50, while the average price of Sony’s games is about $14.57.
The total value of PlayStation Plus’ games is more than double the value of Games with Gold. Even comparing only Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, PlayStation 3 is offering more expensive games.
While the quality of a game is pretty subjective, a game’s Metacritic scores are a pretty decent indication of the gaming community’s general reaction to a game.
The highest critic score for the Xbox games is 79 for Hitman: Absolution, and the lowest is 68 for Deadlight. The user scores are inverted; Hitman: Absolution received a 6.9, and Deadlight received 8.0.
The average critic score of the Xbox games is 73.50, and the average user score is 7.45.
The highest PlayStation critic score is 96 for Batman: Arkham City, and the lowest is Mercenary Kings with 69. The highest user score is Batman: Arkham City with 8.5, and the lowest is Mercenary Kings with 6.9.
The average critic score of the PlayStation games is 81.83, and the average user score is 7.78.
Users and critics seem to agree that PlayStation is offering higher quality games than Xbox, though the discrepancy between the scores is much lower between users than between critics.
Note: Mercenary Kings didn’t have a Metacritic critic score at the beginning of the month because it was a new game. The critic score is currently 69.
Sony gives the impression that its free games program is for the users, while Microsoft gives the impression that Games with Gold is an obligation that they need to meet in order to compete with Sony.
Sony offers more games on more systems, and the games they offer are newer and rated better than the games that Microsoft offers. They even offer brand-new games like Mercenary Kings.
Even comparing the PlayStation 3 with the Xbox 360, Sony is offering more games than Microsoft.
If Microsoft is treating its Games with Gold program like a competition with Sony, then Microsoft is losing the competition. It’s not fair to count the PlayStation Vita games against Microsoft because Microsoft doesn’t have a handheld system, but the Xbox One is still not part of the Games with Gold program five months after the console’s release.
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