Recent discussions with several retail sources in North America report that customers are trading in their PlayStation 3 consoles at a much higher rate than what has been normal in recent months. Most of those who are trading in their PS3 consoles and games these days are trading over to an Xbox 360.
When these customers were asked why they were trading in their PlayStation 3, most of them cited the PlayStation Network remaining down as the major reason they are switching platforms. Many of these now former PS3 owners are Black Ops or Modern Warfare 2 players who miss the ability to play online.
The impact of the PlayStation Network is also being felt in sales of PS3 games with a heavy multiplayer component. For example, one retailer told us that there were about an equal number of pre-orders for Brink until about a week before it was released, and one by one PS3 owners came in and either cancelled their pre-order for Brink or moved the pre-order over to the Xbox 360 version of Brink.
With all of the recent PlayStation 3 trade-ins, a number of our retail sources tell us that they are not only running out of new and used Xbox 360 consoles, but they now have a very large number of used PlayStation 3 consoles. “Our used PS3 console and game inventory is the largest it has ever been, and this is leading to us paying less for used PlayStation 3 units and titles,” said one retailer.
Apparently, North America isn’t alone, with PS3 owners making the switch to the 360. Reports from a number of sources in Europe indicate that they are seeing a similar trend. At this point Sony can do little to stem the tide, other than get the PlayStation Network up and going again. Many retailers do feel that once PSN is up again many former PS3 owners will be looking to pick up a PS3 console again, but in the meantime inventories will continue to rise while PSN continues to be down.