Sony’s PlayStation Network is back up, but the damage may have already been done. Shoppers have apparently moved their eyes from the PS3 and set their sights on an Xbox 360 since Sony’s security breach.
PlayStation gamers should be good to go, with Sony confidently announcing that its online gaming network is fully up and running. PS3 gamers can finally work their way through Portal 2’s dilapidated Aperture Science Enrichment Centre with a friend.
About time, aye? Well evidently some weren’t willing to wait. During the first week of Sony’s breach, which hit gamers on 20 April, PS3 searches dropped in favour of Microsoft’s Xbox on the shopping comparison site PriceRunner.
Looking at the figures myself, the change doesn’t seem too significant. On the week commencing 11 April, of everyone who was looking for either a PS3 or Xbox, 51% searched for the former, 49% the latter. In the week starting 18 April, this transformed to 52% searching for an Xbox. That’s hardly the biggest switch, but the trend continued, with 56% of searches now being for the Xbox.
Gunning for an Xbox 360 instead?
So have shoppers switched their allegiance from Sony’s console to Microsoft’s? Although the above numbers aren’t terribly convincing, I wouldn’t be surprised. Not being able to game online for well over a month is surely going to make some PS3 gamers punt for an alternative.
Plus, with all the media coverage of Sony’s breach, shoppers new to this generation of consoles may avoid the PS3 simply out of fear.
Still, like in the US, UK shopping habits have generally been in favour of the Xbox 360. Sony’s moves to cut the PS3’s price have certainly had an impact – it’s plausible that the company’s recent troubles have undone all their hard work.
Gamers still have faith in Sony
When we asked whether you’d lost faith in Sony since the PSN data breach, the consensus was well and truly ‘No’ – 59% said they’d stick with the company. Why? Commenter Paranoimia gave his reasons:
‘Haven’t lost faith at all. It could, and does, happen to anyone. Yes, it was a major breach, and perhaps it shouldn’t have happened. But when bank, government and even FBI networks get hacked, it’s hardly fair to single out Sony as some sort of bungling incompetents.’
Do you think UK shoppers have turned their back on Sony’s PS3 since the company’s data breach? It’ll be interesting to see how Sony tries to win gamers back during its marathon four hour E3 2011 press conference tomorrow…