Why steam is better than Xbox Live.

Ok, I'm going to say it here and now, I hated Steam when it first came out. However, since it's initial missteps Valve has really turned it around for Steam and turned it into a great platform for getting games. At the same time, Xbox Live has some good ideas, but it has some huge issues. With that in mind, I wish to talk about the reasons why I consider Steam to be superior to Xbox Live.

First, there's the matter of the setup. Both services have an online storefront, but Steam's storefront is easier to navigate. In addition, they are more upfront about game details than Xbox Live. Also, Steam offers better gaming previews with footage of almost all of the games whereas Xbox Live only does this for select titles.

Second, there's purchasing items. Steam is straightforward where it gives a dollar amount. Xbox Live on the other hand uses the godawful points scheme that requires points be purchased then content to be purchased. What is worse is that some items will have weird points costs which makes life miserable when getting a 1600 points card and the DLC is 640 points, which leaves 160 points that may most likely go unused unless something goes up which allows them to be used.

Third, and this is the biggest reason, there are the sales. Xbox Live has the deals of the week, which requires Xbox Live Gold. These deals are 33% to 50% at best and will usually only cover DLC and Xbox Live games. Steam on the other hand does some great sales, with the recent summer sale being great for getting games at strong discounts. The biggest example though was that Microsoft talked about giving gamers a choice of what would be the deal of the week, but all the options was for DLC for games I don't own and nothing from Xbox Live Arcade. This just feels like a bait and switch to me.

With these factors in mind, I consider Steam the superior online service. The site setup is much friendlier, much more straightforward on pricing, and has sales that are better thought out. I know Xbox Live is pretty large since it is tied into the 360, but steam is much more widely available and much better. I know the Steam service does have some issues, but it is a better service.