Battle of the Game Sites

february 14, 2003

Well, I now have a subscription with both IGN ( and GameSpot ( again. I was an IGN subscriber a while back, but stopped. The other week I signed up for the 7-day trial and was testing it out again. Apparently I forgot to uncheck the automatic renewal checkbox and now I'm a member again. But, that's not a bad thing since my GameSpot subscription is coming to an end soon and I may let the GameSpot subscription expire without renewing. There are high and low points to the two game-focused sites. I'm leaning towards IGN more now after giving it a second try. Here is a quick comparison of the two sites. GameSpot is a great looking site with good coverage all things related to games. They have good media offerings such as video reviews of major games, lots of videos, and tons of screenshots. When you sign up for GameSpot's subscription all advertisements are removed and the whole site experience is pure. There is a lack of extra content on GameSpot that is available at IGN such as DVD and Gear. Reviews of products also show up slow from time to time. And some reviews at GameSpot are not spot on for my tastes. The forums are dog slow. IGN is also a great looking site. The coverage is comprehensive at IGN, much more than at GameSpot. There is extra coverage of interesting things like DVD releases (including reviews) and Gear. Like GameSpot IGN has a good offering of media, including video reviews (new since I was last with IGN). The reviews at IGN are comprehensive and I agree with most of them. The annoyance of IGN is that even with a subscription the advertisements still come up. And a lot of them are wedged between pages and have sound and take up the whole page. Very annoying. IGN does off "special" things to subscribers that GameSpot doesn't. One notable special is their Unplugged pdf magazine. The magazine used to be a rehash of reviews provided on the website, but in the last two months they have changed their format and are providing some good content not available to non-subscribers. The forums are slow also, especially during peak hours. The difference between GameSpot and IGN is like the difference between PC Magazine and Maximum PC. Do I prefer one over the other? Not by much, but I do like IGN more because they have a lot more content, and on the Internet content is king. I just hate the advertisements, if I paid my subscription, I ought to be able to surf the site without annoying advertisements. Let the non-subscribers look at those things.

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