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. 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. Since it’s the start of a new month and a new season, we have some pretty big updates this week. Let’s get right to it.
Round 1: Game Demos
- TerRover Demo
- Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Heroes Demo
- Quantum Theory Demo
- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole Demo
- DJ Hero 2 Demo
- Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock Demo
- R.U.S.E. Demo
- Plants vs. Zombies Trial
- Dance! It’s Your Stage Trail
Wow, we have quite a few demos this week. First off, XBL is playing catch up with the R.U.S.E. demo (which is already available on PSN), so no points there. Three out of the remaining four offerings from XBL are all music-based, with DJ Hero, Guitar Hero and Dance! That leaves XBL with the ubiquitous Plants vs. Zombies. PSN brings the punch this week with a much more diverse selection. TerRover looks like a PixelJunk-type arcade scroller. They also brought the action with Sengoku and Quantum Theory. Don’t forget the owls of Legend of the Guardians.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some rhythm games, and Plants vs. Zombies has been a favorite of mine for some time now. However, diverse and new wins the day with a jab and punch combo, letting PSN handily takes this first round.
Round 2: DLC
Both Networks This Week:
- Clash Of The Titans: Hade’s Challenge Quest Pack, $1.99/160 MP.
- Dragon Age Origins: Witch Hunt, $6.99/560 MP. This adventure provides a final confrontation with Morrigan.
- Mafia II: Jimmy’s Vendetta, $9.99/800 MP. Many new city based missions and new locales give you plenty of reasons to head back to Empire Bay.
- Transformers: War For Cybertron: Map and Character Pack #2, $9.99/800 MP. This pack includes five new maps and two new characters, ZETA PRIME and DEAD END.
- Guitar Hero: Rock 1 Track Pack. This pack features six songs by artists Orgy, Faith No More, Marilyn Manson, and more. These songs are also available separately.
- Rock Band: Eight separate songs from Snoop Dogg.
- Rock Band Network: 5 separate songs by bands Meshuggah, Me Talk Pretty, Anti-Flag, and more.
- BUZZ!: The Puzzle Quiz, $5.99.
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11: Fantasy Pack ($9.99), Favorite Courses Pack ($19.99), New Courses Pack ($9.99).
- UFC Undisputed 2010: TUF Pack, $1.99. Unlock four fighters from The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.
- Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker, 800 MP.
There are a ton of DLC updates this week, but as usual, the bulk of it is shared on both networks. Also, PSN doesn’t get any points for playing catch up with the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 packs, which were all made available on XBL last week. That leaves us with Buzz! and UFC Undisputed vs. Lair of the Shadow Broker.
A quiz pack and extra playable fighters can’t compete with the juggernaut that is Mass Effect 2. The expansion we get this week explores its rich story even further, and gives XBL the power that it needed to make PSN take a standing eight count. That leaves us tied so far, with one round apiece.
Round 3: Downloadable Games
- TerRover, $14.99
- Plants vs. Zombies, 1200 MP.
- Dance! It’s Your Stage, 800 MP.
I’ve said before that new and diverse wins the day. However, what we have here is new vs. diverse. The new TerRover on PSN is pitted against the diverse offerings of old favorite Plants vs. Zombies and music-based Dance! It’s Your Stage. It looks like a clinch-fest, and I think the only fair thing to do is call this one a draw.
That leaves us all tied up, with one round apiece and a draw. The final round could decide it all, so let’s check out the action:
Round 4: Sales & Special Values
- Qore Episode 28: September 2010 (Free for PS+).
- Warhawk Game Trial (Free and exclusive to PS+).
- Warhawk: Booster Combo, Dynamic Theme (both Free for PS+).
- UFC Undisputed 2010: TUF Fighter DLC Pack (Free for PS+).
- Minis: Blast Off (Free for PS+).
- The following Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 DLC packs have price drops at $6.99 (regular price $9.99): Emerald Dragon, River Course At Blackwolf Run, The Highlands, and Waialae CC.
- Resident Evil 5: Untold Stories Bundle is on sale for $5.99 (regular price $12.49).
- Wolf Of The Battlefield: Commando 3 is on sale for $4.99 (regular price $9.99).
- The Minis game Hero of Sparta is on sale for $.99 (regular price $6.99).
- The PixelJunk 3in1 Bundle is available for $19.99. This bundle includes PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap, PixelJunk Monsters, and PixelJunk Eden.
- Rock Band 3 Avatar Marketplace: Deck out your Avatar with various Rock Band 3 paraphernalia, ranging from 80 MP to 400 MP.
- Deal of the Week: Resident Evil 5 specials. Get the Untold Stories Bundle for 560 MP. Also, save 40% on Desperate Escape, Nightmares, and Versus Mode. Get them for 240 MP each.
Like last week, PSN brings a flurry of punches with their sheer quantity of deals. The Rock Band 3 Avatar Marketplace is a great idea, and I’d like to see this in action when RB3 comes out in late October. However, Resident Evil 5 specials and avatar extras for a game that isn’t even out yet can’t handle the Ricky Hatton-like fury that PSN is unleashing with their weekly deals lately. PSN take this last round with a knockdown.
Final score this week: After a brawler that saw both networks on the mat, PSN won the day two rounds to one, with one round ending in a draw. This week showed us that Fall is shaping up to be a great for gamers. As we gear up for the momentum that will carry us through the end of the year, we can only imagine the fireworks that lay ahead. Don’t miss out, check back next time for another scorecard and another piping hot batch of network updates.
So, Ranters, what do you think of this week’s network offerings?
Source: PlayStation Blog, Major Nelson