Feeds
90%
Xbox Live: Summer of Football

Sony PlayStation Network vs MS Xbox Live

Major consoles' online offerings rated

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Head-to-Head The online functionality of games consoles has come a long way. Unrecognisable from the 14.4Kb/s modem sideshow curios on the SNES and Megadrive, and a quantum leap over Sega's iconoclastic Dreamcast, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3's online services can alone inform purchasing decisions. So if you're contemplating buying either for Christmas - or if you're daring to swap allegiance - here's a handy guide to their respective offerings.

Playstation Live

Xbox Live (XBL) and the Playstation Network (PSN) are historically and philosophically chalk and cheese. A keystone of Microsoft's Xbox business model, Xbox Live is characterised by heavy standardisation, tight development control and unified services. The Playstation Network, on the other hand, is a far more decentralised, open system model.

Content

The past year has seen PSN close the gap on XBL, with the launches of VidZone, Mubi and Lovefilm joining the BBC iPlayer and PlayStation Store in offering free and paid-for streaming and downloadable content. PSN also has a built in web-browser and PlayStation Home - a Second Life-style virtual world. But despite an ever-growing library of games demos, minis, PSOne and PSP titles, Xbox Live still has the edge in gaming content.

Xbox Live

XBL has more games demos, add-ons, arcade-style games and independent games, as well as its Games on Demand service, where buyers can download full 360 and original Xbox games. XBL also has Sky Player, bringing streaming and on-demand services of popular Sky channels to current subscribers and monthly pay-as-you-watch punters.

Last.fm and Zune Pass offer free streaming and paid-for downloadable music. But with no sign of an additional US Netflix-style service, Xbox Live's movie offering is fast looking paltry in comparison to PSN's.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Cost

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.