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. As usual, 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. The weather is changing, and Autumn is upon us. You know what else is upon us? Tons of updates, so let’s get right to it.
Round 1: Game Demos
- DJ Hero 2 Demo
- Blade Kitten Demo
- NBA ELITE 11 Demo
- DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue Demo
- Enslaved: Odyssey of the West Demo
- Kung Fu Rider Demo
- Sports Champions Demo
- Swords and Soldiers Demo (PS+ only Early Access Demo)
- Alien Breed 2: Assault Episode 2 Trial Game
- Blade Kitten Trial Game
- DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue Trial Game
- NBA ELITE 11 Demo
- Quantum Theory Demo
- Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter Trial Game
Blade Kitten, NBA Elite 11 and DeathSpank all cancel each other out for being available on both networks. PSN is playing catch up with DJ Hero 2, and XBL is doing the same with Quantum Theory. When the dust settles, we are left with Enslaved, Swords and Soldiers, Kung Fu Rider, and Sports Champions on PSN vs. Alien Breed 2 and Serious Sam HD on XBL. PSN has more demos, however, two of those are specifically for the Move. I'm going to go ahead and let those count, since we will be seeing Kinect demos on XBL soon enough.
PSN's jab combos score points for simply having more content, and also for Kung Fu Rider looking like an insanely good time. PSN takes this first round on points.
Round 2: DLC
Both Networks This Week:
- Rock Band: Bob Marley Legend Album, $19.99/1600 MP. This album features the songs Buffalo Soldier, Could You Be Loved, No Woman No Cry, Three Little Birds, and more. These songs are also available separately for $1.99/160 MP.
- Rock Band Network: 5 separate songs by bands The New Pornographers, The Summer Set, Exodus and others.
- Dead Rising 2: Free Packs (Ninja, Psycho, Soldier, Sports Fan).
- Red Dead Redemption: Liars And Cheats, $9.99/800 MP. Challenge your friends to horse races, try your luck with multiplayer Poker or Liar’s Dice, and more.
- Skate 3: San Van Party Pack, $6.99/560 MP.
- Clash of the Titans: Zeus Challenge Quest Pack, $1.99/160 MP. This pack contains the additional quests “The Temple of the Gods” and “Man-Eating Monster.” Obtain new subweapons and rare gift items.
- Rock Band: Snoop Dog Pack 01, $13.49. This eight song pack features Drop It Like It’s Hot, Ridin' In My Chevy, The Shiznit, and more.
- EyePet: Race Car Driver DLC, Free. Farm Animals DLC, $2.99.
- Sonic Adventure: DX Upgrade, $4.99. Upgrade your copy of the game to the Director’s Cut and unlock 60 new missions.
- Planet Mini-Golf: Stronghold Island, $2.49.
- ModNation Racers: Nathan Drake Mod and Kart, $1.99.
- Mega Man 10 DLC Bundle $4.99. Get all five DLC items including Endless Attack Mode, Bass Mode and Special Stages 1, 2 and 3).
- Game Room: Game Pack 010, Free. 3 Arcade games from Konami, 8 Atari 2600 games featuring Activision classics and 4 Intellivision games.
- DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue: Tankko the Warrior, Free. The Snowy Mountain Dungeon, Free.
Nice updates this week on DLC, and as usual most of it is shared on both networks. Most notably, Bob Marley's Legend is now available for Rock Band. We asked for more ska, but we'll definitely settle for some old-school reggae. Curiously enough, there are still no song updates for Guitar Hero, however, Warriors of Rock comes out next week. We don't see a lot of Rock Band exclusives, but there is a Snoop Dog song pack on PSN that is not available on XBL at the time of this writing. PSN also has EyePet, Sonic Adventure, and ModNation Racers DLC. XBL counters with more Game Room content and (at this time) exclusive DLC for the DeathSpank sequel.
Game Room rocks, however, PSN simply has more content this week. EyePet DLC should be fun for the kiddies, and Snoop Dog on Rock Band gives PSN the uppercut it needed to take this second round. PSN now leads this week, two rounds to none.
Round 3: Downloadable Games
- Blade Kitten, $14.99.
- Sonic Adventure, $9.99.
- DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, $14.99.
- PSone Japanese Imports: Cho Aniki, $5.99. Gaia Seed, $5.99. Both are half off for PS+ subscribers.
- Swords and Soldiers, $9.99. This game is only available for PS+ subscribers.
- Alien Breed 2: Assault Episode 2, 800 MP.
- Blade Kitten, 1200 MP.
- DeathSpank 2: Thongs of Virtue, 1200 MP.
- Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, 1200 MP.
Blade Kitten and the DeathSpank sequel get cancelled out for being ubiquitous, and PSN is playing catch up with Sonic Adventure. We are then left with the Japanese PSone imports and Swords and Soldiers on PSN vs. Alien Breed 2 and Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter on XBL. I think the Japanese imports on PSN are a great idea, however, they are PSone games. Some people love the action of Serious Sam, but to be fair the franchise historically gets mixed reviews. This one is too close to call, so I'm going to have to call this round a draw. Let’s move on to the final round:
Round 4: Sales & Special Values
- This week Sony offers the Play Memories app as a free download. This program lets you enjoy your photos on your TV with a variety of features and viewing choices.
- Select Rock Band singles and packs are on sale through October 4th.
- International Track & Field is on sale for $2.99 (original price $5.99).
- Mega Man 10 is on sale for $4.99 (original price $9.99).
- PS+ Deals: Zen Pinball, Free for PS+. ($9.99 value). Minis: Echoes, Free for PS+ ($.99 value). PSone Classic: Syphon Filter 3, Free for PS+ ($5.99 value). Cuboid and Savage Moon are both half price, with the PS+ price being $5.00 for each (original price $9.99). LittleBigPlanet: Monster Costume Pack, PS+ price $1.50 (original price $2.99).
- Deal of the Week: Left 4 Dead 2 DLC at 43% off. Get The Passing for 320 MP (originally at 560 MP).
Play Memories is nice, but with Apple TV and a slew of other set-top boxes, is anybody not already able to view photos on their TV? The exclusive sale on Rock Band songs and packs brings some punch for PSN, and PS+ actually has quite a bit of content this time around. On the flipside, XBL gives us Left 4 Dead 2 DLC at almost half off, which is a good deal on some serious zombie action. We're basically looking at PS+ oldies, Mega Man and a Rock Band song sale vs. a nice deal on DLC for maybe the best zombie game we've seen to date (just my opinion, feel free to leave comments below). If it was more than just The Passing we might have a fight, but as it stands PSN just wants it more. I'm giving this round to PSN.
Final score this week: This is the most lopsided week we have had since we started Network Scorecard. PSN wins this week handily, taking three rounds with one round ending in a draw. This time it was all about volume, and PSN simply brought more content and deals. Don't worry, we know XBL is no slouch. They are bringing something they call The Game Feast starting next week, so I think things are about to get real interesting very quickly. As Fall begins, we have high hopes for the holiday season. As far as gaming is concerned, I don't think we are going to be disappointed. Don’t miss out, check back next time for another scorecard and another overflowing batch of network updates.
So, Ranters, what do you think of this week’s network offerings?
Source: PlayStation Blog, Major Nelson