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 as always, 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. This is turning out to be a hot end to the summer. Let’s take a look at what’s cookin’ this week.

Round 1 Network Scorecard Week of August 23 - 29 2010

Round 1: Game Demos

PSN:

XBL:

Scott Pilgrim has that tasty old-school arcade action. However, this was already released on PSN, so it’s a swing and a miss for XBL. PSN dodges and counters with it’s MAG Beta. It should be noted that you need the game disc to use this new beta.

Since you need to have purchased the full game, the new MAG beta isn’t a huge coup, but it’s enough to give PSN the edge, and they take our first round.

Round 2 Network Scorecard Week of August 23 - 29 2010

Round 2: DLC

Both Networks This Week:

  • Clash of the Titans: Apollo’s Challenge Quest Pack.
  • Guitar Hero: Megadeth Track Pack. This 3 song pack includes the songs Hanger 18, Peace Sells and Symphony of Destruction. These songs are also available separately.
  • Rock Band: Disturbed Pack 03 and Universal Motown Pack 01.
  • Rock Band Network: 5 songs available separately, by Lemon Demon, Cate Sparks, Dappled Cities and others.

PSN:

  • Mafia II: The Betrayal of Jimmy, $9.99. (PSN Timed Exclusive)
  • PlayStation Home: Sodium Starter Pack, $6.99. Get all you need to make the most out of Sodium, the first MMO in Home.

XBL:

  • Snoopy Flying Ace: Suppertime of Destruction Pack, 400 MP.

Both networks clinch bigtime with Apollo’s Challenge for Clash of the Titans and the song packs for the music games that won’t go away. Snoopy Flying Ace is not a major XBLA title, so it’s a glancing blow at best. The big hit of the week goes to PSN for their timed exclusive of The Betrayal of Jimmy for Mafia II.

XBL couldn’t hold it together on DLC for two weeks in a row. This puts PSN ahead, taking two rounds to zero so far.

Round 3 Network Scorecard Week of August 23 - 29 2010

Round 3: Downloadable Games

PSN:

XBL:

  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, 800 MP.
  • Shank, 1200 MP.

XBL plays catch up by making Scott Pilgrim available this week. Amazing game, but as stated before, this is already on PSN. Shank looks like a gritty good time, but it cancels itself out by being on both networks. Just as XBL loses steam, PSN brings a flurry of jabs with Press Your Luck, PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap, and Motorstorm 3D Rift. To be honest, these aren’t huge games, but XBL has nothing to counter with, so PSN takes this round easily. This one is getting ugly, with PSN now over XBL three rounds to none. This one is pretty much over, but I’m under contract here, so we have to move on to the final round.

Round 4 Network Scorecard Week of August 23 - 29 2010

Round 4: Sales & Special Values

PSN:

  • PlayStation Plus-
    • The following games are free: Mushroom Wars, 2XTreme, and Vampires (Minis).
    • Early access to the TerRover Demo.
    • Soldner-X2: Final Prototype + Solder -X: Himmelsturmer Bundle, $10.79.
  • Regular PSN:
    • Let’s Golf (Minis) is on sale for $.99 (original price $4.99).
    • PlayStation Protection Plan: $44.99 for one year, $59.99 for two years beyond the factory warranty.

XBL:

  • Final week for the Summer of Arcade special offer. Buy all five Summer of Arcade games and get 1200 MP free. This offer ends on August 31st.
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D contest- Download one of the four Resident Evil gamer pics to be entered to win 40,000 MP.
  • XBL Deal of the Week:
    • BioShock 2: Rapture Metro, 400 MP.
    • BioShock 2: Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack, 240 MP.
    • BioShock 2: Rosie Big Daddy Outfit, 240 MP.
    • BioShock 2: Watchface Big Daddy Doll, 160 MP.

I’m just going to have to be honest and say that I’m not loving the sales and special values this week. PSN is basically just offering shovelware and early access to a demo, along with an extended warranty plan. Thanks PSN for the total yawnfest. XBL is definitely more interesting, with its special offers and sale on BioShock 2 DLC. I don’t think I’m going to buy all five Summer of Arcade games, and I don’t believe I have a chance in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks of winning the 40,000 MP. Regardless, the flashier offerings from XBL rally them to the finish, and they take the last round.

Final score this week: The network grudge match gets ugly, and PSN wins this week three rounds to one. The offerings were interesting this week. Shank and Naruto will definitely make some noise. Press Your Luck looks like kitschy fun at first glance, but I wonder if the younger generation of gamers will get the nostalgia. Now all I need is a Match Game PM downloadable game and I’ll be all set. Getting back on track, this is indeed turning out to be a hot end to the summer. Don’t miss out, check back next week for another scorecard and another hot batch of network updates.

So, Ranters, what do you think of this week’s network offerings?

Follow us on Twitter at @GameRant and @j_silvey.

Source: PlayStation Blog, Major Nelson

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