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Xbox Live Gold vs. PlayStation Plus: Which is better?

Ps5 Vs Xbox Series S
Ps5 Vs Xbox Series S (Image credit: Android Central)

Xbox Live Gold vs. PS Plus: What's the difference?

Ps Plus On Ps

(Image credit: Android Central)

A few years ago, the debate between PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold might have been raging on across the internet. In 2022, though, the two services are nearly identical in what they offer to players. Both services are vital if you play a ton of online games on either the PlayStation or Xbox side, and both give out free games and discounts. For that reason, one is not definitively better than the other. 

Xbox Live GoldPlayStation Plus
Free games
Online multiplayer accessYes (not required for free-to-play games)Yes (not required for free-to-play games)
Cloud savesNot requiredRequired
Exclusive discounts
Price$10/month or $60/year$10/month or $60/year
Upgrades availableYes (Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)Yes (PlayStation Plus Extra or PlayStation Plus Premium)

The two services are incredibly similar, but only one allows you to join Xbox Game Pass.

While Xbox Live Gold doesn't offer too much that PlayStation Plus doesn't, it does give players the ability to upgrade their Xbox Live Gold account into an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate account. This adds on the Xbox Game Pass service an extra $5 per month, giving players both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. PlayStation Plus will soon offer subscribers the option to upgrade their membership to access hundreds of games on demand, not unlike Xbox Game Pass. 

For those who might not know, Xbox Game Pass is essentially Xbox's answer to Netflix for games. The service hosts a ton of games in its rotating library, and one of the bigger selling points for it is that Xbox exclusive games launch onto the service the same day they launch at retail. Sony, on the other hand, will not release its first-party games day one into any of its PlayStation Plus tiers. 

What PlayStation is doing instead is giving PlayStation Plus Premium members the option to access limited time game trials. It's unclear what form these will take, but it could be a way for players to sample PlayStation's newest releases for free before deciding to purchase the full game.

Xbox Game Pass isn't exactly the same thing as Xbox Live Gold, but Microsoft is clearly trying to get players into its ecosystem by offering bundles for the services. For just $15 per month, players can have access to the benefits of Xbox Live Gold while also getting access to a ton of old and literally brand new games via Xbox Game Pass. 

Xbox Live Gold vs. PS Plus: Bottom line

Ps Plus Collection

(Image credit: Android Central)

In their most basic forms, Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus Essential are basically the exact same service for different consoles. It only gets interesting when you throw Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus Extra/Premium into the mix. For those wondering what service is better in the hopes of picking up a new console, the value that Xbox Game Pass provides at the moment is just too good to not recommend Xbox Live Gold.

Anthony Nash has been writing about games and the gaming industry for nearly a decade. When he’s not writing about games, he’s usually playing them. You can find him on Twitter talking about games or sports at @_anthonynash.