Microsoft's Xbox Live gaming service offers better performance online compared to Sony's PlayStation Network for gamers in the U.S. and UK, according to the results of an independent study of both systems conducted by research firm IHS Markit.

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Microsoft is promoting the results of the study on a special page on the Xbox website. The IHS Markit testing categories included reliability, speed and overall quality when playing five online multiplayer games that available for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

Reliability was gauged by the amount of time it took players to log into eith Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, along with how long it took for games to load on each console, solid online matchmaker features and network stability. The IHS Markit study shows Xbox Live beat PlayStation Network for faster login times, game loading times and stability, with the PlayStation Network winning for matchmaking.

In terms of speed, the criteria was not only how long it took to log into each service and how long it took to load games, but also how long it took to send invites to friends and how long it took for those friends to join in online games. Again, the study showed the Xbox Live service beating the PlayStation Network for speed of logins and game loads, along with the amount of time to bring new players into games. The PlayStation Network won in the speed of finding friends.

Finally, overall network quality was determined by combining the scores in both speed and reliability, along with adding other factors such as the quality of audio chat:

In the majority of scenarios for the Overall Quality category, the metrics were recorded in milliseconds. Where applicable, however, the metric was measured on a different scale (e.g., Mean Opinion Score was the measure used for the scenario on voice chat quality in order to gauge audio quality). As in the two tests above for Reliability and Speed, Xbox Live produced higher scores in Overall Quality than PlayStation Network in three out of four metrics.

Based on the study's results, Xbox Live has the network quality and speed down, but might need some improvements in matchmaking. Do you agree with this study's results? Let us know in the comments!