Sony has explained the impressively large figure it has been dishing up for PlayStation Network take-up. The 17 million figure Sony has been touting
- the one that makes it look a lot like the PS3's online take-up has caught up with Xbox Live
- is not as impressive as it looks at first glance. Eagle-eyed readers might start to get a sense of deja vu...
A Sony rep has told MTV Multiplayer
, “The PSN numbers (17M and 2.1M) include people who have created accounts on PS3, the Web site and PSP. Note that since the implementation of single sign-on, PSN ID and PlayStation Underground IDs (which were often created at the same time when first making a PSN ID) were automatically merged and rolled over. Additionally, since PSN is a free online gaming service, some households create multiple IDs so that a father can keep a separate list of friends, trophies and stats from that of his daughter for example.”
So there you have it. There are not
17 million PS3 users with PlayStation Network accounts. Granted, Sony never explicitly said that the figure applied specifically to PS3 users but, let's face it, just throwing out that figure without qualifying it is liable to lead a casual observer to think there are as many unique PS3 users on PSN as there are Xbox Live members.
This will all be very familiar to close observers of the games industry. Back in November
Sony proudly proclaimed that it had 14 million PSN users at a time when Microsoft 14 million Xbox Live accounts. It turned out that there was more to Sony's figure than just PS3 users then, too...