PlayStation Network outage prompts gamers to trade PS3s for Xbox 360s

The ongoing PSN outage is prompting gamers to trade in their PlayStation 3 consoles, according to UK retailers, with many opting to trade their console for an Xbox 360.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Sony's online gaming service PlayStation Network is still offline in the wake of a massive security breach that saw hackers make off with over 100 million users' personal info. With the service still not expected to get back online before the end of May, it seems that gamers are voting with their feet and trading in their PS3 consoles for cash, or for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console.

The stats come from an investigation conducted by videogames publication Edge, and suggests that UK retailers are experiencing a serious spike in PS3 trade-ins, a slump in sales for PSN points cards and more business heading the way of the Xbox 360 in the form of trades and game pre-orders.

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

Now, 'over 200 per cent' increase sounds pretty drastic, but without knowing what the actual figures for trade-ins before the PSN outage were, it's hard to get a sense of the scale of the problem. But anecdotally, it's powerful evidence that gamers are severely fed up with the downtime -- enough so that they'd switch to a rival console.

It seems like the most impatient gamers are those who play online shooters like Modern Warfare 2 or the totally-serious-war-game-except-there's-a-zombie-mode Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Another source (though this one was from a Belgian retailer) said gamers were "bringing in PS3s 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."

Another high street source said, "pre-orders have been cancelled and flipped over to 360 versions of games."

Obviously this is a small sample, but if your comments are anything to go by, there are plenty of disgruntled PS3 gamers out there.

Meanwhile, Industry Gamers has got hold of a letter sent from Sony to its publishing partners and developers, which seems to indicate that Sony isn't sharing any more info with its business partners on the outage than it is with the public, which is sure to aggravate companies who depend on PSN for business.

Will your console allegiances swing if PSN remains broken much longer? Are you a Sony fan through-and-through, or a gloating Xbox fanatic? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page, and be sure to vote in our poll on whether you'll ever trust Sony again.