PSN Outage Spurs PlayStation 3 Returns in UK
May 13, 2011 6:25 AM
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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
5/13/2011 2:21:16 PM
Hahaha while I find it hard to fault Sony's tech team (or
, 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
5/14/2011 3:22:13 AM
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.
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