Welcome back to Network Scorecard, where we pit the two major console networks head to head and see who ends up with the best offerings for the week. The battle continues between Xbox Live and PSN, and anything can happen. Like last week, for the sake of this competition, we are including the elite memberships of both networks. That means Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus memberships are in play. However, mobile gaming is not being considered here, so we will not be including any PSP updates. We can’t hold these guys back any longer, so we better get to it.
Round 1: Game Demos
- NHL 11 Demo
- Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 Demo
Although both networks are offering the same two big demos this week, PSN pulls no punches with its trial version of their exclusive title, Joe Danger. You can perform crazy stunts and use boosts for big points to rise up the leaderboards in this arcade-style downloadable game.
Joe Danger gives PSN the edge, and they draw first blood this week to win our first round.
Round 2: DLC
Both Networks This Week:
- Skate 3: Skate.Create Upgrade Pack. This offers new gear to wear, and ways to spice up your skate.parks.
- Guitar Hero: Weezer Track Pack. This 3 song pack includes the hit “Island in the Sun.”
- Rock Band: Neon Tree Pack 01 and The Black Keys Pack 01.
- Rock Band Network: 5 songs by different bands including The Tragically Hip, Texas in July, and others.
- LittleBigPlanet: Marvel Costumes Pack. This bundle includes Hulk, Punisher, Green Goblin, Magneto, and Storm, for $5.99. Or you can purchase each costume separately for $1.99 each.
- Uncharted 2: DLC Pack 4- Sidekick Skin Pack. Eight new skins of characters seen in both games of the franchise for $2.99.
- ModNation Racers: Mouse Trap Mod and Mouse Trap Kart- each for $.99, or both together for $1.75.
- PAIN: Jolly character add-on- $.99.
- Buku Sudoko: Puzzle Pack 17- 160 MP.
- Things on Wheels: ToW- Cars- 160 MP.
Again, the most enticing add-ons are carried by both networks, including the packs for the behemoth Skate 3 and the ubiquitous music games. ModNation Racers and PAIN are cancelled out by Buku Sudoko and Things on Wheels. PSN’s skins win the day, with the Uncharted 2 multiplayer skins pack and the insanely killer Marvel costumes for LittleBigPlanet.
With Xbox Live phoning it in on DLC exclusives, it’s Marvel costumes for the win for PSN. This puts PSN ahead, taking two rounds to zero so far.
Round 3: Downloadable Games
- Top Gun, $14.99. (PSN Exclusive)
- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, 1200 MP. (XBL Timed Exclusive)
PSN brings us their exclusive title, Top Gun. This free-flying air combat shooter is based on the film of the same name. It might not be as slick as Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2, but where else can you fight in air combat while rocking out to the "Danger Zone"? Nice, however, Xbox Live rocked it this week with their timed exclusive Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Sorry PSN, Lara Croft made the big noise this week, winning this round for XBL. So now we have PSN over XBL two rounds to one. This is getting close. We better move on to the final round:
Round 4: Sales & Special Values
- Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is on sale (now $14.99, original price $29.99).
- Spotlight on Arcade Classics: special sales for PS+ subscribers, offering the following classics for half off at $2.50: Gauntlet II, Mortal Kombat II, Rampage, and Rampart.
- PS+ also get early access to PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap and 25% off, through 8/23.
- Special PS+ Deal: Buy 1 year subscription to PS+, and get 3 bonus months added for free.
- The Summer of Arcade special offer is still in effect. Buy all five Summer of Arcade games and get 1200 MP free. This offer lasts until 8/31.
Not much new on the sale front from XBL, however they do have a trailer for BioShock Infinite available now. Sure, you can find it online elsewhere, but you can download it on XBL in HD, and it’s worth it. In contrast, PSN brings its punching power with some good-ole arcade classics. PS+ subscribers can get their old-school arcade fix on the cheap this week. I’m going to have to give this round to PSN.
Final score this week: Having lost last time, PSN comes back swinging hard, and delivers the knockout punch to XBL, winning this week three rounds to one. This summer has turned out to be a brawler, and who knows what can happen next week. Don't miss out, check back next time for yet another scorecard and another batch of network updates.
So, Ranters, what do you think of this week’s network offerings?
Source: PlayStation Blog, Major Nelson