Gamers love a good deal. One of the best deals in gaming is Sony’s PlayStation Plus service that offers up a couple free downloads every month for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Microsoft — not wanting to get left behind — is trying to catch up to it.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show last month, Microsoft announced its Games with Gold service that mimics the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection. Microsoft just gave away Xbox Live Arcade title Defense Grid: The Awakening to players that subscribe to its Gold service. Today, it revealed it will begin giving away Assassin’s Creed II starting on July 16.
Of course, none of these games are technically free. Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus both require an ongoing fee. PlayStation Plus costs $50 for 12 months of access, and Xbox Live Gold costs $60.
On PlayStation Plus, gamers lose access to these titles if they stop subscribing. The same is not true on Xbox 360. That might explain the difference in the timeliness of the games Microsoft and Sony are offering. Assassin’s Creed II came out in 2009 and has since seen several sequels. Meanwhile, Sony is offering Plus subscribers Battlefield 3, which came out in 2011 and is the latest title in the series.