Xbox Live Gold vs. PlayStation Plus: Which is better?
Xbox Live Gold has edged out PS Plus in previous years, but Sony's service is getting better.
Xbox Live Gold has been around for a long time, and it offers many of the same benefits as its competitor. You'll get two free games every month, discounts on titles in the store, and more. Xbox Live Gold also features the ability to upgrade to Xbox Game Pass.
- At least two free games every month
- Up to 50% discount on certain Microsoft Store titles
- Ability to upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
- Xbox Game Pass has essentially priced out just having Xbox Live Gold
PlayStation Plus gives you access to not only online gaming, but a large library of some of PlayStation's best games. Better yet, if you want to upload saves and other items into the cloud, PlayStation Plus gives you a ton of space to work with.
- At least two free games every month
- 100GB of cloud storage
- Three subscription tiers
- Day-one releases not available in PS Plus Premium
Xbox Live Gold vs. PS Plus: What's the difference?
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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Xbox Live Gold||PlayStation Plus|
|Online multiplayer access||Yes (not required for free-to-play games)||Yes (not required for free-to-play games)|
|Cloud saves||Not required||Required|
|Price||$10/month or $60/year||$10/month or $60/year|
|Upgrades available||Yes (Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)||Yes (PlayStation Plus Extra or PlayStation Plus Premium)|
Xbox Live Gold vs. PS Plus: Game Pass or Premium?
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 for an extra $5 per month, giving players both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. PlayStation Plus also gives 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.
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, along with the ability to stream games to mobile.
PlayStation Plus Extra ($15 per month or $100 per year) and Premium ($18 per month or $120 per year) also include a games catalog with hundreds of titles in their subscriptions. Where they differ is that PS Plus Extra only includes around 400 or so games for PS4 and PS5. Anyone who upgrades to Premium will have access to an additional 340 classic games from PS3, PS2, PS One, and PSP. Premium subscribers can also stream PS3 and PS4 games directly to their console or PC.
What PlayStation is doing instead of day-one first-party releases is giving PlayStation Plus Premium members the option to access limited-time game trials, letting players sample PlayStation's newest releases for free for a couple of hours before deciding to purchase the full game.
Xbox Live Gold vs. PS Plus: The choice is yours
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.
The gold standard
Xbox Live Gold offers many of the same perks that PlayStation Plus does, including two free games every month, cloud storage options, and the ability to earn some discounts on the Microsoft Store.
Free games every month
PlayStation Plus offers players the chance to play games online, while also benefitting from some great games given out for free every month. PlayStation Plus also gives you 100GB of cloud storage, discounts across the PlayStation Store, and more.
Get the Android Central Newsletter
Instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
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.
- Jennifer LockeGames Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR