Sony Pitches PlayStation Plus Against Xbox Live Gold in Very Direct Comparison Via Online Survey

Sony is sending an online survey to customers through the consumer research agency 2CV in order to gather information on the perception about PlayStation Plus.

What’s interesting is that the survey pitches PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold against each other very directly. Apparently Sony really wants to know which one you like most, possibly in order to improve its own service.

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qwerty6761547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )


maybe they're finally going to push for a better online service.

but look xbox live has the azure servers on its side. sony cant compete with that.

darthv721547d ago

"What, if anything, do you particularly dislike about PlayStation Plus?"

For me (personally) its the free games are no longer valid to play if/when your subscription runs out.

At some point I will stop being a gold member but the free games I have downloaded (recently) will still be playable offline. I can't say the same about the ones I obtained from Plus.

And these are games on the 360/PS3 respectably. I can't comment about XB1/PS4 at the moment.

one2thr1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

A legit question: What does Azure do that Gaikai cannot do, and what benefits do both server services have to offer to either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4?

I'd like to know, for future references.

uptownsoul1547d ago


Great point: essentially Gaikai is an off site server farm that Sony is using differently than Microsoft is using Azure…But I think they could technically do the same things if either company decided to

Outthink_The_Room1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )


There are quite a few things Azure does that Gaikai doesn't.

First off, Azure is scalable. In other words, as more users jump on, servers can essentially be spooled up to offer more bandwidth. Think of it like, extra servers as backup whenever the load gets too heavy.

Secondly, Gaikai is technically not cloud based architecture. It does not do computational FPGA type of offloading. Gaikai is built more for speed in regards to streaming, whereas Azure is built for multiple different applications.

PSNow is what Gaikai is used for, not server farms to run DriveClub or Uncharted etc.. If that was the case, then DriveClub wouldn't have had to allocate new servers for the game. Sony would simply have them at their disposal already and activate more to the games that need them.

Lastly, Azure is in more countries. The amount of data centers MS owns and operates is big. It's near the 20 mark if not surpassing that next year.

To sum it up, the ability for scalable servers, in the amount of countries (and growing) gives MS the ability to expand and push more things to the cloud.

MS could essentially emulate streaming, but streaming is not the only thing Azure can do. Gaikai is limited in application usage and has never been configured to work the way Azure does.

In all honesty, for as many times as MS comes late to the party, "The Cloud" is the one party MS is extremely early to, compared to virtually every other company. I think only IBM and Google have bigger clouds, if I'm not mistaken.

Sorry for the long post.

Yetter1547d ago

The sheer scale of Azure cloud servers are a big part of it. They have 17 huge server farms around the world, and that number was 12 this time last year so they are obviously putting massive investment in it. At this point Gaikai is configured to only serve one purpose. Run the playstation games and compress the gameplay into a video and then send that video the players console where his controller input is sent back to that Gaikai server. Azure servers are a blank slate where you can make them run any kind of code you want.


@ one2thr, Here is some specs on their servers,

one2thr1547d ago

Thanks for the response guys, I now have a better understanding of the two.

As mentioned, ones built with streaming in mind, whereas the other can open up the required bandwidth needed for MANY applications. (A condensed version of what I learned/understood from both comments and provided links)

hkgamer1547d ago

just because they throw the word cloud around doesnt mean they are the same thing.

gaikai servers are basically 6(i think) ps3's in one server. obviously a little more complicated than that, but thats what sony said.

azure however has hardware similar to most servers that host multiplayer games. however, it can be used to offload calculations so that it wouldnt tax the local onsite cpu as much. similar hardware means that it is easily scalable.

n4rc1547d ago

Gaikai isn't even comparable..

They acquired them for $400m.. Ms spent $700m on expanding a single data center..

Expanding a current installation has way less overhead them buying all of it.. Building costs etc..

GameNameFame1547d ago


and used and built for MS word. Office 365, SKydrive...

While Gaikai is built and made for all gaming.

supergrobi11547d ago

Gaikai? Are you joking? You can´t compare, it´s a remote input streaming service, Azure is scaleable cloud computing.

donthate1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )


There is so much difference between Gakai and Azure that they aren't even comparable, because of the different objectives.

Gakai is essentially racks of PS3 in a data warehouse specialized for streaming games. That means technology to capture video, compress it super fast and beam it over the internet. It vaguely fits the description of a cloud if at all, but is more akin to a traditional server farm (read as just a bunch of computers in a room) albeit smaller and more spread out. More about this later.

Azure itself is massive general purpose server farms that MS spent billions on each server farm.

What makes Azure a "true" cloud though is the technology behind it from the architectural design to the software that allows:

* for processing power: this means horizontally and vertically scalable, which in simple terms means you can easily attain as much processing power as you want within seconds.
* stability: built in monitoring software with a staff around the hours to handle issues
* robustness: in the event of failures, the data has to be retained
* speed: database access and data reads are blazingly fast

Everything from mission critical applications that when go down causes millions of dollars of losses to massive websites larger than n4g by the gazillion times.

However, what makes Azure in the context of Xbox Live really powerful is MS built all these services ready so you can easily harness this power on the Xbox. What is an interesting side here is that Sony is out of their league, because MS spends more than what Sony is worth (market cap) on just these data warehouses.

However, because you have a bunch of servers doesn't make it a cloud. It is the technology that enables these services that makes it possible to manage this "power" that makes it a cloud!

In essence, Gakai is built for one specific purpose and that is to stream PS3 games (and maybe PS4 in the future). That is what it is good for, and likely nothing else. That means it wouldn't be used for PSN, but only PS Now.

Azure is used for mission critical enterprise software where downtime is measured in millions of dollars of losses. It has the software & services to support Xbox Live, but it would be far from ideal to stream console games.

I hope that clears it up a little bit!


Azure is only second to AWS, and they both are so far ahead of anyone else including IBM and Google that it makes them look like amateurs.

In 2014, in a study by Gartner MS was ranked 2nd to AWS and ahead of everyone else:

MS in 2013 outranked AWS as the fastest data store claiming #1 spot:

guitarded771547d ago

@ Outthink_The_Room

Thank's for the post... I'd rather long with substance than short with nothing of worth. Can you provide any links to some of this info? Or is this all on Wikipedia. Anyway... bub++ for the great explanation. I really wish Sony would use Gaikai for server farming. It would indeed help the load for some games, and potentially prolong the life of others. I'd like to still be able to play SOCOM and MAG.

MeliMel1547d ago

@outthink the room,

Dude I just wanted to say thanks. That was very informative and a great read. Keep em coming.

twdll1547d ago

Here is the thing about Gaikai vs Azure that most people do not get... Gaikai is for video game streaming, Azure is a ridiculously large network of computers that compute stuff. It is not just for XBOX one either it is for all sorts of stuff... and MUCH LARGER than Gaikai... Look it up before you disagree with me peeps.

Xb1ps41547d ago

Lmfao @ you and Sony for that one... Sony messed up when they decided to charge for online play, that was a leg up and the free games too but now gold gives free games and doesn't go down nearly as much as psn does..

Live ftw... Easily..

1547d ago
UltimateMaster1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

You can't compare Gaikai to Azure.
Azure is the combination of every service Microsoft offers: MS Office, Sky Drive, Skype, Xbox Live, Xbox Music.

Gaikai is just a portion of the PSN; PS Now, Share Play, etc.
That would be dismissing every other server Sony owns.
-PSN; Online Multi-player, Friends list etc. Then PS Now, PS Home, Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, Play Memories, you get the picture.

A lot of you would be prefect PR candidates, really. A lot of huff and buff on how great the service is and how Sony is out of it's league and how Azure is much better.

The only question you failed to answer is, what does it do that PSN can't do. Not what it "could" do, what does it do. What exclusive feature the Xbox Gold Live service offers that is NOT on PSN?

iHazelwood1547d ago Show
wsoutlaw871547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

Azure is the name ms gave to their large amount of servers. Amazon has the largest amount of servers but ms is investing a ton of $ to try to make more and more. Ms tends to try to make it seem like xbl has all these servers but the numbers of server is for the entirety of azure. Gaikai was a company whose servers are designed to quickly stream games along with tech they patented for this process. Sony also has its own psn servers. Ms servers are designed to do effeciant cloud computing but its not something other servers cant do. Its really just the number of servers ms can spread a load to but both companies could attempt to do streeming or cloud computing. When you are actally playing game you are using which ever servers the game choses, so it really doesn't matter.

Ms azure servers and "cloud" severs do the same thing as client-user server farms have always done, cloud is just s better way to market it. One difference is the servers in a huge farm are more geral purpose and can be used to complete the task with out needing other specialised servers. Some come with a universal api that can be used for different purposes. Basically all servers are "cloud" now in the way they operate and Sony obviously has cloud servers. Most companies switch their servers over and you never know. We can't really say how much of azure ms makes available to xbl because they make a lot of money selling them to companies and for their other services.

jrshankill1547d ago

To even compare Playstation Plus to Xbox Live at the moment is ridiculous. Sony fans must be able to admit to that at least.

pinkcrocodile751547d ago


OK, where to begin...

Your definition of cloud needs to be corrected.

A cloud server is called that because it has elecastic resources. A server consists corely of CPU, Memory and disk space (among other components), it's virtual which means it is harnessing the resources of a collection of physical hosts clustered together horizontally.

The MS's hyperV technology used is similar to both Vmware ESXi and Xen Server. Meaning they provide one of a set of physical harware definition to each virtual server (VM). Now that the VM has a definition of the hardware we can assign CPU's, Memory and Diskspace (in different configurations like RAID etc.)

Once that server is built (usually within seconds) they can now use and configure that cloud based server for any of the software platforms they have.

Now, lets say they have put the server live for say... XBL or for example.. Now this server is within a defined role its been placed in. Should it need more resources the config can grow those resources without the need to either reboot it or stop services on that instance (VM).

Should the physical host the VM is sitting on get into trouble, it will be moved to another host somewhere else in the hosting cluster with no issue to the service it's providing.

OK so that is the fundamental function and definition of a cloud server, its highly available, is rapidly build, moved and maintained with little to no effort on the part of the engineers.

With a server farm as you put it, it only covers the physical hosts. Cloud servers cover the rest as explained (roughly I admit) above.

Virtual / Cloud allows for more servers to be provided with less overhead, easier management, central control, flexible resources and of course PRE-DEFINED ROLES to be harnessed and deployed quickly and practically reducing potential downtime to record lows.

These pre-defined roles can be anything, compute, data storage, application nodes, process controls, the sky is the limit.

So when you waffle on about comparisons between Sony and Microsoft, it's not a fair comparison, just like apples and oranges, they are totally difference beasts.

Essentially it's like comparing a swiss army knife to a spoon, pointless and unfair

Volkama1547d ago

It is actually quite refreshing to see that there are some other denizens of N4G that do understand what Azure and other cloud services really are and what the real benefits are.

The term has been well and truly hijacked by marketing people so the perception that cloud simply means "remote" or "on the internet" is something that has to be accepted, but Azure very much fits the more technical and accurate definition of the term as well.

mmcglasson1547d ago

Gaikai is one of the reasons we are able to use PlayStation now and probably has a little something to do with SharePlay as well.

Gaikai can do much more. Sony hasn't implemented the full capabilities of Gaikai yet. They will continue to expand on it's capabilities and develop new technologies with it as well.

I'm not familiar with Azure so I can't say.

I have had next to no issues with PSN. Mostly due to the fact that when server updates are going on, I'm just getting off work, then heading to the gym. By the time I get home... Everything is up and running. I will say Sony does have some work to do to prevent service outages due to new AAA game releases, updates, and features. Especially when their customer base is going to continue growing (probably very rapidly this holiday season).

I work in IT Security field and I understand how downtime works especially during major content releases/updates. I'm not giving Sony an excuse because they could do better in some aspects but for the user base they are providing service too, you have to give them some credit. Microsoft has done a better job in preventing service interruptions but both companies have their issues. Both companies will continue to improve over time. I'm happy with the service I pay for with PSN and I was happy with XBL too when I had that (years ago). PSN has improved drastically since it launched back on PS3 and for the last 4 years, it's been nothing but great. Could Sony have handled the hacking incident better? Sure. If someone wants in your network bad enough and they have the skills, they can do it. Will they get caught? Depends how good they are and the security systems that are able to detect intrusions. Companies learn daily but hackers will always be looking for new vulnerabilities and exploits to accomplish their goals. You can never completely secure a network because things are changing daily... that's just a pure fact. You can do your best to stay compliant with updates, security tools and utilities, IPD/IDS, etc but like I said before... if a hacker is good enough and wants to get into your network... they will.

callahan091547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

@darthv72 and iHazelwood:

No, the complaint that darth made is not valid or legit, and that's why he has so many disagrees. MS changed the policy. Games you get free with Gold also expire when your subscription expires, just like PS+ games expire if your subscription expires. There is no difference anymore. On the Xbox 360, all those games you got in the past will be still available to you if your subscription expires, but we're not talking about the past, when for the vast majority of PS+'s lifetime their WAS NO Games With Gold feature to compare it to. All new games that will be given away with BOTH services will expire just the same if you let your subscription run out.

Darth is trying to make it seem like Microsoft's service is better because their policy is that you keep your games even after your subscription runs out, but that's NOT the case anymore. Their policy is now identical to Sony's policy, therefore you can't complain about one without complaining about the other. You have to be honest with your comparisons, comparing how things are TODAY instead of how they were BEFORE (that no longer applies).

darthv721546d ago

@callahan...what i typed is valid in the context of the current policy for both services as they relate to the 360 and PS3. i wasnt trying to make it seem like anything else other than that fact.

And seeing as the 360 and Ps3 are still supported by these policies then it cant be ruled out as "the past" but simply...the present.

And as i said in the last line: I can't comment about the XB1 or Ps4 but I am fully aware of the policies of both in regards to the respected services.

the poll did not appear to be limited to the systems but to the service that is available. As such, my initial comment is valid.

Looking to the future of the service, i would hate to see the day when sony renders the PS3 unable to play the games online or even able to validate the games obtained from + but it will happen. MS took down the original xbox and with it any access not only to the online portion but also the original live arcade store. i have several original live arcade games on the xbox hdd and if i delete them or the system craps out...those games are now gone.

If sony made it possible to keep these free games......then when their time comes to pull the plug on PS3 access, those free games would still be playable without the need to validate via + membership.

+ Show (24) more repliesLast reply 1546d ago
1547d ago Replies(6)
tlougotg1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

Funny Shareplay is working flawlessly for me and my online games never suffer, there is a reason for that. That Gakai money was well spent!!! Ps4 just has way more people online and thinsg happen.

Rick Ross....

You have my permission to remove all salt from your wounds!

Rick_Ross_Boss1547d ago

You have my permission to facepalm yourself

shloobmm31547d ago

Onlive was right up there with Gaikai, about as low as you can get on the totem pole when it came to both. You are comparing apples and seeds.

TheBrit1547d ago

I highly doubt, since day one you have never suffered during an online game and if that truly is the case you must have just signed up 5 minutes ago.

Edward751547d ago


There could be reasons why they are choosing not to at this time.
We don't know the reasons behind the scene.

It could simply be timing. It can't happen overnight.

It could be money (the issue with the company not doing well, even though playstation is)

It could be that they weren't prepared, need to start from scratch on some things due to many other reasons. One of those being amount of ps+ members now paying and using the service in ways they didn't totally plan for.

Mind you, these aren't excuses, but there are so many other reasons why they would want to get some feedback to get what the customer wants, over what they might have wanted to do.

Either way , there is value in ps+, ways it trumps live, but in many ways it does fall short right now.

spacedelete1547d ago

anyone know how to take the survey ? Sony has balls asking people about the quality of PlayStation plus. Paywall subscription and basement made indie games as well as constant maintenances and server issues. what i want to know what exactly they are spending the money they are getting from PlayStation plus and PS4 because it sure as hell isn't going into improving PSN. i love the PS4 but sometimes Sony annoy me so much.

Muzikguy1547d ago

Sony can easily compete with that. Apple has their own servers, Amazon has their own, Google has theirs.... No reason Sony can't

mcstorm1547d ago

Its called cash and cash is one thing Sony don't have. They only way Sony could afford more data centres is to rent it off someone like amazon or Microsoft.

Microsoft have been in the cloud game for a very long time and its only going to grow even more.

I work for an it solutions company and we are now starting to sell more and more cloud solutions than ever and they are all Microsoft cloud solutions.

Muzikguy1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

I know they need cash, which is why I'm a bit confused. There's like 5million people(maybe) paying for plus. That's a nice chunk of change. I'd also assume that they've been using money from previous years to get to this point. I'd like to think they've had a plan this whole time. Maybe they haven't and I'm giving them too much credit. PSHome was easy money, they could've used that too. They had all last gen to prepare for this

The Gaikai purchase was good though and this SharePlay is going to be a hit I'm sure. PSNow, not sure. If it picks up, that could make them money as well

jamstorr861547d ago

All that Sony needs to do is implement something like Hadoop in a few data centres which would allow for better scaling capabilities due to the ability to distribute computation across multiple hosts. Azure isn't much different to other data centres physically, it simply allows Ms it offer infrastructure as a service and platform as a service. Essentially allowing businesses to host applications and servers in the azure cloud. Not sure why people on here think physically ther servers are more powerful etc. in all likelyhood a server purpose built for hosting multiplayer games is more likely to our perform a server built for multiple purposes

ainTgoTTime2bleed1547d ago

Agreed!, TEH POWESSZ OF DAT CLOUDSSZZ is too powerful...

D-riders1547d ago

in my opion you will always have a better service with sony because it is offered across more plaforms. plus its cheaper 10$, and so far the games have been better. both companies have to same servers so its funny people always compare stability, cause that's just bull.

Funantic11547d ago

Plus you forgot to mention that PSN (Poor Server Network) stays down or hacked. I mean people waited the longest time for the recent PS4 update only to get bricked or unable to message friends, and other problems. I got the "An error has occurred.
(WS-37470-1)" message myself. PSN name BKaca.

CervantesPR11547d ago

Proof microsoft does not give out free dedicated servers
"Most importantly to us, Microsoft priced it so that it’s far more affordable than other hosting options " - Respawn

xbox live and PSN conections are the same when playing a multiplat.

not all azure servers are used for xbox live and not all azure servers are physical servers either a lot of them are actually virtual servers.

xbox live is up and running more often than PSN while PSN is cheaper, offers better and more free games across PS4,PS3,Vita and now we have shareplay which is a killer feature xbox live lacks.

Dramacydal1547d ago

It's obvious from your comment you've never used Azure and/or know anything about its real world applications.

XanderZane1547d ago

XBL has over 300K dedicated servers as well as azure. Which is why Horizon 2 ran smoothly after it launched. Sony doesn't have this which is why they were rushing around with Evolution trying to turn on more servers and stablize them over the last 3 weeks. This is just one of the reasons why they held the PS+ version of DC back. They didn't want to see those servers get stopped hard again and cause outages and queues. Whatever the care Sony knows their PSN network needs some serious work and upgrades.

Comparing XBL to PSN is like night and day. All you have to do is read "Outthink_The_Room" comments above and that says it all.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1546d ago
Big_Game_Hunters1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

Gold is better because its not down every other week. Thankfully i don't pay for either but if i did i would for the one that works over half the time, and no i don't care about "free" games that are 5$ on steam.

Very click bait title though, Sony isn't taking shots at Microsoft like you try to make it seem.Corps ask about their competitors products in surveys all the time.

one2thr1547d ago

Yeah, I can admit I hate seeing that PSN is down, sorting things out, under maintainence, every other week, especially on my day(s) off.

NeoGamer2321547d ago

The worst part is that I work about 60 hrs per week... I commute for 15 hours a week... I spend time with my family for 20 hours a week... I sleep for about 25 hours per week (natural insomnia)... I look after my personal self for about 20 hours a week (showers, eating, exercise, etc) ... Then, I sit down and decide to play a game and the network is not working... That leaves me with about 3.3 hours per day to do other things like gaming...

I get very mad if I turn on my console and it can't connect to the network service.

Spenok1547d ago

If you guys legitimately think it's down every other week you're delusional. Simple as that.

SilentNegotiator1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

If your definition of "down" is a feature not working in some regions like so many fanboys trying their damnedest to make people believe that PSN is always down define it (until it's XBL having the problem that is - ), then yeah, totally every other week.

Mikelarry1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

This cant be seen as a negative, it shows that they want your feedback and try to improve on what issues some of you have with this service. But watch how this article is going fall into ddos attack and irrelevant fud instead of providing meaningful discussion on ways to make the service better

AngelicIceDiamond1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

Well constructive criticism would suggest the stability updates make the service actually stable on all fronts. I'm not saying instant noodles but hopefully by next years time the service would actually be more stable.

Especially if you have to pay this time around.

Maybe add in no downtime when updating in the future. Hopefully they can eventually do it in the background. Like I said its a paid service, theses should be happening unless that money is indeed going into free games instead.

That's all I have to say and yes that is all constructive criticism but pretending its perfect and defending it to very death is just makes you insane.

All Sony needs to do is tighten the screws, literally that's it.

Riderz13371547d ago

Really? Is tightening the screws "literally" all they have to do?

AngelicIceDiamond1547d ago

@Riderz What do you suggest?

Tried my best to give feedback.

Riderz13371547d ago

I suggest you don't use words you don't know the meaning of.

Muzikguy1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

I don't know why it should take a survey for them to move. It's apparent people are pissed with all the downtime. Don't need a survey to tell them that

Last gen they entice gamers with free games and so far this gen people are mad with that too. They slacked off after getting everyone on board. Stuff like this happens all the time

joeorc1547d ago

Hey we want more money to expand PlayStation network..head investors over at Sony tells the board and kaz you are not making returns as it is you need to make more cuts ..give us a reason why should you spend more money that we will never see back if ever...

Pulls out stacks of feed back..

Remember unlike some companies Sony Computer entertainment is a LLC its a subsidiary of Sony it does not get to demand loads of cash from the only stock holder.

Without being to show more proof why it needs more money. Xbox is not like Sony playstation; being set up like Sony as a subsidiary.

and for people that can jump in to say maybe it needs to be..set up more like Microsoft are not ; looking at the full facts of it and are really only looking at it from a west centric point of view.

instead of a japanese point of view.

Spenok1547d ago

Something like this should only help Sony. They are having their fans directly compare their service to the competitor, in an attempt to see what they could be doing better. This should be done more frequently by both parties imo. Competition breeds innovation, as well as excellency.

Immorals1547d ago

I've always seen gold as a better service. The fact I just got the evolve alpha preloaded on my xbox, purely because I'm in the preview programme is nice!

-Foxtrot1547d ago

If there is one thing Sony need to do is get their online sorted, I'm sick to death of seeing "PSN down" articles on here all the time. Microsoft hardly ever has that problem with Live.

Hopefully people will be honest and will get Sony to buck their ideas up.

98xpresent1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

Or they could just make it free. I agree with you tho,

OB1Biker1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

Or maybe when PSN is down 30mn or an hour its always all over the internet while XBL is hardly ever reported when theres a problem like just now actually
I mean its not like its the most important problem in the world, I always have games to play whether its down or not but of course I hope they do keep on trying to improve the service

Torque_CS_Lewith1547d ago

That's curious. Shouldn't you be sick of experiencing PSN being down instead of reading about it here?
I mean it kinda sounds like you are worried about the image of PSN rather than the actual experience you get from it.

-Foxtrot1547d ago

But if I'm not playing on my PS4 and I'm at work/Uni then I'm going to hate to see that it's down for when I get home

Don't try and make out it's something it's not...good lord.