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  (Source: flickr.com)
More customers are trading their PS3's for Xbox 360's

A little over a month ago, Sony was sitting in a good position with over 50 million PlayStation 3 units sold worldwide. But after the recent security breach, customers are getting fed up and even began trading their PS3's for Xbox 360's. 

The PlayStation 3 is Sony's third home video game console in the PlayStation series, and was released in 2006. One of its most notable features is its online gaming service called the PlayStation Network (PSN), which offers online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery. But on April 20 of this year, the network went down after millions of users' personal information and even credit card numbers were stolen in a massive security breach. Sony didn't announce what had happened until April 26. 

Now, retail numbers are beginning to show the customer's frustrations. According to different video game retailers around the world, gamers have been trading their PS3's for Xbox 360's at an increasing rate, and have even switched pre-orders of certain game titles from PS3 to Xbox 360.

"In the first week of downtime we did not really see any major change in sales or trades," said an anonymous UK retailer. "However, from the second week onwards we have seen an increase of over 200 percent on PS3 consoles being traded in, split almost 50/50 between those trading for cash and those taking a 360 instead."

According to UK retailers, the week ending March 16 showed that 49 percent of users bought "Call of Duty: Black Ops" for Xbox 360 while only 37 percent bought the PS3 version. At the end of the following week, 52 percent of bought the PS3 version while only 40 percent bought the Xbox 360 version.

But after April 20, these numbers began changing. In the week ending April 30, 59 percent of "Black Ops" sales went to the Xbox 360 while 30 percent went to the PS3. Last week, 66 percent of users bought the Xbox 360 title while 24 percent bought the PS3 title. 

In addition to "Call of Duty: Black Ops," another popular game, "FIFA 11," saw a decline in PS3 versions. In the week ending April 16, Xbox 360 had 49 percent of the sales while PS3 had 37 percent, and the week after, Xbox 360 stayed at the top with 46 percent and PS# at 34 percent. The numbers became more obvious in the week ending April 30 with Xbox 360 at 52 percent and PS# at 26 percent, and last week with Xbox 360 at 49 percent and PS3 at 21 percent. 

"At the end of each month, people come to sell their consoles," said Tom Mestdagh, from Belgian indie Gameswap. "People that need money [to pay bills]. What's different this time around is that they are bringing in PS3's together with all their games and they don't want money, they want an Xbox 360. In every case it is because of 'Black Ops' and/or 'Modern Warfare 2.' We're just ten days into the month and already we have an increase of 200 percent in PS3's coming into the store compared to all of March. Normally we sell them really fast, but not this time. We've only sold 30 to 40 percent of our inventory right now."

Reports also noted that PSN customers are upset with how Sony has handled this issue, and they've even stopped complaining about the charges for Xbox Live. Customer satisfaction is undoubtedly at a low, and Sony's problems only seem to be getting worse.


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RE: Fair-weather gamers
By PLD_Xavier on 5/13/2011 10:37:18 AM , Rating: 1
So instead you're going to buy a system from Microsoft, the company that practically coined the term "known vulnerability."

Considering attacks of this nature are not rare, no, I'm not all that concerned about Sony's security practices. The proverbial door was not "left open" as you and others would like to believe, and there is no such thing as a completely secure network or database. "Where there's a will, there's a way" is practically a way of life for some hackers, which is why companies often hire white hat consultants. What we're seeing is just the same widespread panic that the media likes to create and politicians like to capitalize on. They pick one scenario in a pool of common occurrences and treat it as an outlying case. Meanwhile, I don't see people lining up for class-action lawsuits against Facebook's data leak, the attack on LastPass, or the tampered Michaels credit card terminals.


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By AkuPyro on 5/13/2011 12:34:10 PM , Rating: 1
Known vulnerability...well atleast they (MS) let you know that it is a problem. Out of them all, MS, Sony, even Apple...I think MS does a good job of fessing up that there is a problem....and patching it. I know it may look bad when there is 100+ patches...but I atleast know they are doing something about it. If I am not mistaken, the threat to the PSN was known internally and nothing was done to patch said issue (nothing was done or it didn't get to the right people...). I am not trying to be a fanboi or anything, it is just the way that Sony handled the issue. I think the monthly fee is somewhat warranted for XBL now even though I have long let it expire. Shoot, PSN went down, I resortable back to PC gaming....though I was a PC gamer to begin with. But in the end, I would rather know of a possible threat so take measures to protect rather than not know and get blind sided. Just say'n...


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By PLD_Xavier on 5/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Fair-weather gamers
By kleinma on 5/13/2011 1:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Is this door "proverbial" enough for you?

quote:
As reported by The Consumerist, Dr. Gene Spafford, computer science professor at Purdue University, testified that Sony used versions of the open source Apache Web server software that went “unpatched and had no firewall installed.”


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By PLD_Xavier on 5/13/2011 1:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't aware of that one, which WAS a stupid move (no pun intended) on Sony's part. Considering how widely used Apache is, I've got some research to do :)


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By nikon133 on 5/16/2011 12:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe Apache Web server wasn't patched... though much as I recall, good professor's testimony was based on info available on the web, in different blogs and forums, and not on on-site forensic he has personally performed, so I wouldn't bet my fortune on his testimony.

Additionally - if Apache Web server was without firewall, we still don't know if Sony hasn't used dedicated hardware firewalls, like SonicWALL products or any other.

And finally - I'd wait for some reliable findings (that will emerge sooner or later) regarding whole case. I don't have problem accepting Sony messed things up royally - even if I am PS3 owner, for peace of mind I did all my on-line purchase via PSN fund cards, no credit card on PSN, thank you... but for what we know so far, it could have been inside job (or at least job with inside support), stolen credentials/tokens/whatever authentication security Sony was using, if any.

Regarding migration to Xbox Live, I'd consider it if MS could guarantee something like this could/can/will never happen to them. But can they? And where will those rapid switchers move next time if it happens..?


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By callmeroy on 5/13/2011 1:47:38 PM , Rating: 1
Your posts in this thread burst, pop, sing and glow "I'm a sony fanboy" to a degree that is deafening.

I don't own any console right now -- not for the last 3 months...don't really plan on buying one within the next 6 months either.

But c'mon man....sony didn't just fail once...but several times...and it didn't just impact 1000 users....their tally is now 100 million users compromised.

Now to be fair -- in this day and age these things can happen to any company. I also fully believe there is no encryption that is unbreakable and no AV software that can save you from all infections.

BUT the key then....is how pro-active companies take security -- are they really do everything that can be done to reduce the chance of a breach or infection (whatever the case may be). Then if they are breached or infected...all eyes are on how the company responds.

Many think Sony didn't do as much as they could have on the "pro-active" side of things....and its quite obvious to the majority of people they failed miserably on their response afterwards.

How you make excuses and/or defend a company under the guise of "it can happen to anyone" is one thing that I can probably understand.....but how you do for how badly a company responses....that just blows my mind.


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By PLD_Xavier on 5/13/2011 2:21:16 PM , Rating: 1
Hahaha while I find it hard to fault Sony's tech team (or found , while I'm checking out that response someone above left about Sony not keeping their servers up-to-date*), there's no way I'm defending Sony's PR tactics on this one. In this age of almost-instantaneous communication, taking four days (generously giving them the two days to realize/communicate that there was a problem and shut everything down) to release an official statement to the press is beyond terrible. I'm torn between informing the public and not causing a panic, but "better safe than sorry" should always win out and they should have at least released a statement with the service shutdown along the lines of "We think a breach of our servers may have happened, so keep an eye on your credit and debit activity. More details to come."

*I've found a few articles that the servers were not protected and up-to-date, but I'm finding a few more recent ones that backtrack on that accusation.


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By Aloonatic on 5/14/2011 3:22:13 AM , Rating: 2
Further on the "it could happen to anyone" point.

That that is something of a truism, and that any large company could be attacked and breached like this, only makes their response even worse.

A fire could happen in any office, and that's why any responsible office manager will have procedures in place, safe routes and assembly points worked out and clearly marked, drills run, alarms and responses testes, ways of recovering and coping with the aftermath worked out etc.

So even ignoring the whole security laps and "doors left open" issue. Large companies like Sony must know that an attack like this not only could happen, but are likely, and that they could lose a lot of personal information. So they really should have done risk assessments and been prepared with how to react to an attack when it happened. How to find out what has happened, or at least identify what has been stolen/copied quickly, and then have some response ready to reassure customers as well as a clear plan on how they could recover from the attack and get their services up and running again swiftly.

From what I have seen (including messages from Sony as I am a PSN customer) it seems that Sony have done pretty much everything wrong since the attack happened.

I wasn't able to log into the PSN for a couple off days before the attack was announced and I thought that there was a problem with my router or PlayStastion. Then the reports/Press releases started to emerge about what was going on and had happened, and it just made Sony look like they were always reacting to events, rather than taking a lead on what was going on, and that they had been trying to cover something up, or at the very least, had been less than honest with their customers about why they couldn't get on-line. Then they didn't even seem to know what had be stolen/copied and there was the Anonymous "text file" left behind that I can only hope (for Sony's sake) is actually true, as them making that up would be so far beyond ridiculous.

Now I'm left with the news that I might get to go back on the PSN by the start of next month, but I only know this because of sites like this. I've had just 1 e-mail from Sony about the attack, and what they are doing about it, days after I was affected and they knew that something was happening. That's it! No news official news from Sony themselves on when I might get the service back up, just rumours in the internet.

So is it really any surprise that people who have no great loyalty to Sony have taken all that and traded their effectively useless PlayStations and games in for an xBox and a copy of the game that they love to play on-line, that they can actually play today?

Most off these CoD players who are trading in don't come on sites like this, they just want to play the games that they've bought on-line, as promised that they could by Sony. So they have even less information about when the service might be back up again. Sure, they could go on the net and search, but they really shouldn't have to be doing that.

I've stuck up for Sony a little on other articles here, but that was a while ago. This is taking too long for Sony to sort out and more importantly, they are just not communicating with their customers and reassuring them effectively. They seem to have had no plans in place with how to deal with this attack, which as you point out, could happen to anyone, so they should have known that it was coming.


RE: Fair-weather gamers
By tayb on 5/14/2011 10:14:44 AM , Rating: 1
At least Microsoft let's me know that there is a problem and they are working on a solution. I got an email from Sony that said they were hacked, my personal information was probably stolen, and good luck! It took about four weeks later and pressure from Congress before Sony started to give a damn about the millions of users it effected. And let's not kid ourselves the only reason Sony ever did ANYTHING for us is because Congress was threatening to bitch-slap them.

Sorry but Windows may have security problems but the vast majority of these problems are operator-error related and when Microsoft screws up they generally have your back. Red Ring of Death? Pretty crappy console engineering but Microsoft backed up their mistake with a 3 year warranty. Make up for the mistake and the users who went through 10+ consoles? Hell no but it was a hell of a lot more than Sony was interested in offering.

As a matter of fact I do see people lining up to file class action lawsuits against FaceBook and Michaels. Where have you been?

At the end of the day Sony has been crapping on me as a PS3 customer for over a year. I already own a Wii and a 360 on top of my PS3 but I can guarantee you the next time around I won't be supporting a Sony console.


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