20% of PS3 owners are considering a switch to the Xbox 360

The news just seems to be getting worse for Sony: first the PlayStation Network is hacked, then Sony finds out that passwords and credit card data may have been stolen, then they decide to keep the network down for an undetermined amount of time while they try to fix the problems. Now, a new study of PS3 owners shows that over 20% of them are considering ditching their PS3s and switching to the Xbox 360 for online gaming.

The study was commissioned by online shopping and affiliate marketing firm CouponCodes4U, and asked over 2000 people across the US about the recent security breach at Sony. Of the group surveyed, only 41% of them owned PS3 consoles, but of that group 89% of them were worried that personal information of theirs was included in the data hackers were able to make off with.

Over 65% of the PS3 owners in the study said that their faith and trust in Sony had been “greatly affected,” and 21% of them said they were seriously considering selling their PS3 and switching to an Xbox 360 for their online gaming needs.

That’s bad news for Sony, who’s still struggling to resolve the security issue and to determine how bad the data loss really is. To date, Sony has been issuing few statements about the matter, and what they have said has been in relatively vague terms. Sony’s said that the PSN would be “down for weeks,” and that they’re “rebuilding it from scratch,” but they’ve also changed their tune from being sure that no user data was compromised to admitting that credit card data – while encrypted – may have been among the information stolen.

Sony’s already been sued over the issue, and it’s not terribly surprising that disgruntled gamers without a way to play online with their friends are looking for alternatives. It’s also natural for people to be concerned about their credit card information when they’re not getting a clear idea from Sony right now whether or not their data is safe. The real question is whether or not those same gamers will switch to the Xbox 360 and stay there when Sony has the whole mess sorted out and the storm blows over.

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