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PlayStation Network members top 20m

Xbox Live lagging behind

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Sony has announced that over 20m accounts have been registered with the PlayStation Network since the free online service launched back in late 2006.

The network’s subscriber figures compare to global PS3 sales of 21.3m units – as of December 2008 – and 50m PlayStation Portables (PSP) sales, as of last month.

That may sound like a pretty low attachment rate for Sony’s PlayStation Network, which is free to access for PS3 and PSP users. But it’s worth remembering that not all gamers care about getting their consoles online, while some may be prevented from doing so by, say, an awkward internet set-up.

By contrast, Microsoft’s Xbox Live service has been going since 2002 and – according to a Microsoft spokesman today – had 17m subscribed users worldwide as of January. Microsoft does, of course, charge gamers for using Xbox Live.

Sony also announced that PlayStation Home – a community-focused subset of the PlayStation Network – was launched in December 2008 and now has over 4m global members. ®

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