We at onAXIS like to do these kind of articles for some reason, hoping maybe someone will see this and take action upon it. This article is going to go very in-depth, so keep with it.
Okay, first, lets start off with interface, below we have the interface for the PlayStation Network, and the interface for Xbox Live.
Xbox Live: Now, if you take a look, Xbox Live lists "Messages, Friends, and Chat" usually with an ad under Xbox Live when logged online showcasing a new download or game on the Marketplace.
PlayStation Network: While the PlayStation 3 lists the friend addition, blocking, and message box, all under one XMB icon. That is something about the PlayStation Network interface, it lacks a certain feel of things. Now I own both consoles, and I love my PlayStation 3, but when I log on to Xbox Live, it feels complete. When I log onto my PlayStation 3, it feels like a revamped version of PlayStation 2 online, very bland and such.
Xbox Live: The Xbox Live Marketplace is displayed the same on every television, even those crappy small SDTV's that your uncle gave to you after he threw out his PSone that you dug out the trash to play on that TV.
PlayStation Network: The PlayStation Store displays differently depending on which sort of television you have. If you have an SDTV, it will display with only 4 selections and no right panel.
Xbox Live: The Xbox Live Marketplace is always full of ads, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the ads give benefit toward you, as they show the latest games, movies, tv shows, etc. Another thing about the Marketplace is, is that it is very organized, it has sections for everything. The demos can be categorized by genre, name, date, etc. They have Bringing It Home during special events, and they don't update on one specific day.
This Marketplace also has Video on Demand, which means TV downloads, Movie downloads, and such.
The interface is very easy to browse through, and there is no waiting times to see information about a game.
PlayStation Network: The PlayStation Store, it updates every Thursday of the week. It's "featured items" also known as new arrivals are shown on the store front upon entering. The store is based upon a browser web-page which makes browsing through the store a hassle. The only organization in the store is category organization, or full story alphabetically.
Sony needs to majorly revamp the store interface, and take it off a web-page, and release it in the 2.00 update.
Sadly, it has no video on demand.
Due to having an SDTV, some users of the Network might not be able to see the two ads, which are usually the same for a long time until being changed. The ads are usually only for games, as well.
Xbox Live: Lets now take a look at the community, because thats what online is really all about. With Xbox Live, talking to your friends, cross-game inviting them, voice chatting them, video chatting them, and instant messaging them is all at the click of a button (the (X) button).
PlayStation Network: On the PlayStation 3, in order to get to your friends list, you must exit your game to do so. There is no in-game voice chat, or cross-game/in-game invites. Soon will come an XMB update, but unless they add the above, we will only have access to our friends list. Quite disappointing.
Xbox Live: On the Xbox 360, each user has their own unique profile, with their recently played games, personal slogan, gamerscore, achievments, and such. There are also usually many events sponsored by Microsoft, along with e-mails for free game redemption codes and such.
PlayStation Network: On the PlayStation 3, a user has a profile with an icon, a small about me section, and a section of what languages you speak, which cannot even be viewed in-game. The PlayStation 3 sports no sort of achievements, but sports Home soon enough. The PlayStation Network also never really has any Sony sponsored events.
PlayStation Home will be a great community, with interactive areas, game integration and what not. But some think that Home may not be the ultimate experience, what if you want to do all that you can do in Home, outside it? If you get what I'm saying.
Lets take a look at online play, the PlayStation Network has an advantage here, it's online is free. Xbox Live's online play costs around $60 a year, just for online play though, while all else is free.
Both: Now, the only difference here is that the online play on Xbox Live sports all the features listed above, while the PlayStation Network simply just has the play, but no private voice chat, in-game friend checking, messaging, profile editing, or cross-game/in-game invites, etc. When your in games at all, you can do most the system settings you can do from the dashboard, like change themes, view the active downloads, etc.
Xbox Live: If you start up a game such as Halo 3, and there is an update for that game, you'll get a message on start-up before the game even loads saying there is an update available. You download it quick, the system restarts, and your done.
PlayStation Network: If you start up a game such as Resistance, and there is an update for that game, you have to let it load up, go to online, accept the agreement, then it will state an update is available. The update takes around 10 minutes to download and then it prompts you to restart the system yourself, and reload up the game and go back to the online.
Xbox Live: Xbox Live features it's own way to stay connected, and thats by going to their official website (xbox.com). There you can do all the community features you can do on your Xbox 360.
PlayStation Network: The PlayStation Network however features no website and no way to display your online name, games played, etc.
If you want us to tell you the drastic truth, Xbox Live wins this match, and it will keep winning this match until Sony takes action and starts rolling out it's forces. I'm a big supporter of Sony, but facts don't lie, in fact, they can't talk.
I know the comments are going to be heating up with flames, but I guess that will be by sole supporters of one system only. I enjoy all my systems, but the PLAYSTATION 3 especially, and thats why I want it to start doing great.