You probably play videogames online. But which online console games service gives you the best bang for your buck? Here’s everything you need to know to make the decision.
- Has a free version that doesn’t allow you to play online games for free, but does offer free avatars, automatic game updates and access to streaming video services.
- For $40 yearly, Xbox Live Gold gives you one or two free games monthly and deep Xbox Store discounts, let you save your games to the Cloud, and offers broadcasting on Twitch only.
- Game Room lets you download Classic Arcade games and compete against others.
- Offers more than 30 apps, including sports TV services like ESPN and MLB.TV.
- Windows phones let you play about 150 smaller Xbox Live games like Fruit Ninja, but there aren’t any multiplayer games — yet.
- Lets you play games online for free, and gives you free avatars and automatic game updates.
- For $50 a year, PlayStation Plus offers you some free games, deep PlayStation Store discounts, the ability to broadcast live on Twitch and other game streaming services, and game saves in the Cloud.
- PlayStation Plus also gives you Share Play in which a friend online can play with you even if he or she doesn’t own the game.
- Offers more than 40 apps, including Netflix and YouTube.
- PlayStation Now streams a full library of 200 Sony games (mostly PS3 offerings), but it costs a mammoth $45 for just three months.
- The service is free. It also lets you compete online for free and offers avatars and automatic game updates.
- Inviting friends to play can be difficult.
- Nintendo eShop is filled with classic Nintendo games, but some are expensive. The eShop for 3DS is good but never fulfilled its promise to offer 3-D movies.
- Doesn’t offer free games monthly.
- Offers apps like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Instant Video.
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