According to an Edge report citing multiple sources inside various UK retail chains, consumers are growing tired of the PlayStation Network outage (now in its third week) and are trading their hardware for Xbox 360 systems. The various sources are saying that consumers are trading in PS3 consoles and games for cash or for replacement systems, and that PSN point card sales are on the decline.
"In the first week of downtime we did not really see any major change in sales or trades,” said an unnamed store manager at a major UK retailer. "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.
Another unnamed source working for a smaller retailer in the South West tells Edge that he has seen an increase in the number of PS3's trade in the last couple of week, adding that most were used as credit towards Xbox 360 systems. He describes most of these consumers as being from the "hardcore online shooter crowd." This makes sense because without the ability to play online, these types of gamers might get a little stir crazy waiting for PSN to come back online.
Other retailers tell Edge that pre-orders for multi-platform games have shifted from PS3 to Xbox 360, mostly due to PSN being down.
While Edge is keen to point out all this anecdotal evidence that the PS3 is losing customer loyalty, they also point out that the retailers they spoke to say that these customers are just a small sample of the general game buying public.
We will have to wait and see what the long term impact of the PSN outage will be.