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Xbox Live claims victory over PlayStation Network in online performance, study says

Xbox One S
Xbox One S (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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.

Microsoft is promoting the results of the study on a special page on the Xbox website (opens in new tab). The IHS Markit testing (opens in new tab) 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!

54 Comments
  • As always best online on our Xbox. friends have told me how unreliable ps network is on the ps4
  • Not to add salt to the wound, but now Sony wants to charge more now for their service's...
  • Nice
    Xbox Live FTW!!!!
    Yea I do agree that it needs better matchmaking capabilities... Takes a lil while to get a Destiny Crucible match running
  • I think that type of matchmaking is controlled by destiny. I think the matchmaking they are talking about is finding friends. Quote from article: "The PlayStation Network won in the speed of finding friends." Meaning they were testing how quickly you can find a friend in the friends list and add them to a game.
  • This is why we pay for XBL services. Wasn't PSN free at one point until they realized they can't maintain QoS for free?
  • Yes, which is why many PS3 owners still haven't upgraded to the PS4.
  • Now psn is the same price as xbl. What a joke.
  • Actually Sony announced a few days ago a $10 increase. When XBL had a service charge and PSN did not, the media (not this site) was upset about how horrible Microsoft was for charging for the service. Microsoft then announced a $10 increase and they were screaming that Microsoft was greedy. Then Sony announced that they would charge, and the media thought it was a great idea because it would mean that PSN would finally be stable. It hasn't become any more stable, in many cases it is worse. Now they want $10 more, and the media thinks it is even better because with that extra $10/month Sony can fix the problems that have been plaguing them. So now PSN is more expensive than XBL, has fewer features, and is slower - and the media cannot stop talking about how great Sony is while talking down Microsoft.
  • I have both services. Unfortunately I forgot to turn off auto renewal on my PS4. Otherwise I had no plans on renewing either services. I'm really disappointed with this generation of consoles. Miss my PS3 Media capabilities.
  • PS+ is now the same price as XBLG. XBLG has been $60 since forever, Sony just raised it to $60. The MSRP doesn't really matter because you can get both for $40 or cheaper at pretty much any time.
  • Ah, but look at the 'free' games you get each month from both systems.  Heaps of barely playable indie trash from sony, compared to 1 or 2 indies but 2-3 great (often AAA) games on the XB.
  • Do you still have to have a subscription on PSN to keep the games ? Unlike xbox once u stop being gold the games are still yours
  • ....and probably some American Media?!
  •   nohone, its called losing momentum, same thing happened with Sony in 2006-2009.  Sony has done good to get back on track, whether you buy their products or not, MS is in the process of intergrating Xbox consoles into Windows 10 as the traditional console market is a huge money loser.   Sure they will continue to use the Xbox name but more or less you have a Windows 10 PC branded with the name Xbox.    Now a more interesting question than your question is why is MS charging Windows 10 users $0, but charging MS Windows 10 PC  branded XBox users  $40-60 a year?   I mean you buy the hardware from them and they are charging you more if you didn't buy the hardware from them.
  • We know why they are not charging PC users for gold to play online, It's to compete with steam where their multiplayer is free. My question is, what are they going to do when people start dropping Xbox to play the same games for free on PC through XBox Play Anywhere?
  • Exactly, why would someone buy a xbox at this point? 
  • For ease of access. I am yet to find a PC setup that is as simple and intuitive for everyone from my 3 yr old to myself to use and start playing content/games we want.......all from a single remote.
  • People just hate Microsoft and that's stupid
  • 10 bucks more in Canada for PS plus now , no thanks
  • They still don't seem able to make it stable even at $60/month/user.
  • Yea I believe that was around 2011 when they got hacked and over 70 +million people were at risk.. But they got what they paid for having free Services.
  • I recently got rid of my Xbox one for a ps4, overall the online experience was much better on XBL over PSN. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  •   I had the Xbox and Xbox 360, made the jump last year with the PS4.   Still pay for XBL but let it run out from time to time on my Xbox 360s.  I really can't tell a difference to be honest, but the article is mostly talking about the time to login and receive friends requests, also not sure how they get reliable figures on such a small scale testing say for reliability.  XBL has been fine for the most part and I have been using it since 2003, PSN is fine and I have been using since 2013 (bought a PS Vita).  I think the way to navigate to hook in with friends was easier on the Xbox 360 than say the PS4 is to me, but I prefer everything else about PSN or the UI including the PS Store. They are both fine to me, I also perfer the online web features on XBL over PSN, but they are both good and that is also not a network thing.   I think most of what they are talking about is not even network related though.  idk         
  • Fanboys rejoice!
  • At the same time as fanboys are crying in the other camp.
  • Rejoyce that they are getting a good service? Don't know why you need to be a fanboy to do that.
  • XBox Still holds the title
  • no news for me.
  • I was going to comment on this but then realized I don't know anyone that actually plays games online on their PS4. They all play with me on Xbox Live :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I play 1 online game on my 4.  Heaps on my One though.
  • Matchmaking is downright terrible in MCC still. Don't know if that is Xbox live or 343, but it is still a mess. Titanfall still works fine, and always has for me, so it might be 343.
  • I think is 343s servers Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (LG V10 or Nexus 5x)
  • That is kind of the problem with a so called study like this.   What is "network", what is software which the developer has created, and what is UI or console hardware issues?  Just because you are having matchmaking issues doesn't necessarily mean you are having issues with either XBL or PSN, it depends on the solution.   
  • no actual numbers shown, so it could be thanks to PSN having more users, no surprise to see a few ms more here and there
  • I thought Xbox had more members on XBLG compared to PSN+ users. I know there are more PlayStation users (that play PS for free, aka don't play online), but not as many actually using the PSN+. I might be wrong on this though because I can't really find where I heard/read this from
  • interesting, I was ignoring that distinction entirely, maybe someone could do some proper research with numbers
  • I use both and I personally don't think there is much of a difference between the 2. I do like the PS4s UI much better, it is easier to navigate and much faster. The X1 UI is very slow and clunky. That being said I do like the community better on XBL and that is something that is missing on PSN. I look for to This Week On Xbox and the little things like it.
  • Its faster, but so damn badly designed.  Out of them both I prefer the LAUNCH UI on xbox.  It was fast, easy and intuitive.  Not any more though. The PS4 UI is just awful, but smooth awful.
  • Too bad their software performance is way below the PS4
  • As a PS4 owner and former PS3 and 360 owner, I can attest that this has pretty much always been the case. Sony has recently tried to close the gap by making online multiplayer a part of the paid PlayStation Plus subscription. They still have a ways to go, but at least they don't charge extra for using Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
  • You still need to pay Netflix or Amazon for using their services, but if you're referring to needing a XBL Gold/PSN Plus sub to access those features, then no you don't. On Xbox you used to have to but that's not been the case for quite some time now.
  • I know.
  • You don't have to pay anything but the prime/netflix monthly fee, and haven't had to for 4+ years.
  • Nothing new here. This just proves what every xbox fan will tell you. Scroll Down
  • XBox is the best box. Sony ponies are crying in their diet Pepsi.
  • One thing nice about Steam is that there is no need for a subscription.
  • One bad thing about steam are the insufferable pricks that use it and try to gain 'points' based on that. Aside from the fact that steam DOESN'T do ANY networking itself outside of delivering the games.
  • I haven't had any issues nor do I know anyone who has on ps4, and 5 games doesn't exactly count. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • XBL > PSN has always been the case ever since online existed on consoles.  But where the PS4 shines over the Xbox One is in its ability to collect dust while remaining dormant until the next Uncharted or Last of Us comes along.
  • but is the dust in 900p or 1080p?
  • Lol. Now it'll be in faux-4K.
  • This is no surprise since msft is the expertise in online services. Can't beat a player in his own ground.
  • Not sure this is even news really. The old saying "You get what you pay for" comes to mind, and we've been happily paying for years and that's why Xbox Live rules.
  • With twice the potential gamers of course they should have better matchmaking. However its like comparing australia's recent olympic medal tally Vs the US medal tally.  Sure, Australia won fewer medals, but did so off the backs of 1/16th as many potential athletes. I find both systems' network stuff to be mostly okay outside of things totally beyond their control like those retards DDoSing them.  I do see my PS4 games updating all the damn time compared to the same games on my One.