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PlayStation 3 trade-ins mount at retail

Fourth week of downtime testing customer loyalty to breaking point

Reports suggest that trade-ins for PlayStation 3 consoles are beginning to rapidly increase in the wake of PSN downtime, as online gamers in particular become more frustrated at the situation.

Sony has offered no further update on the service since Tuesday, May 10, when it was warned that it would be "at least a few more days" before services would be restored - including Sony Online Entertainment MMOs such as DC Universe Online.

A study of PlayStation 3 resale prices since the outage, by website Video Game Price Charts, shows that the average price of PlayStation 3 software in the U.S. has decreased by 7.4 per cent since April 20, when the PlayStation Network was switched off. At the same time Xbox 360 prices have increased by 0.7 per cent.

A report by Edge Online also suggests that trade-ins for the console itself have increased, as the price of PlayStation Network point cards has slumped and new game pre-orders have trended away from Sony's format.

"In the first week of downtime we did not really see any major change in sales or trades," claimed one retail source in the UK. "However from the second week onwards we have seen an increase of over 200 per cent on PlayStation 3 consoles being traded in, split almost 50/50 between those trading for cash and those taking a 360 instead."

Other retailers have reported a similar percentage increase in PlayStation 3 console sales, with customers regularly citing a lack of download play, particularly for titles in the Call Of Duty series, as the main reason for the trade-in and for acquiring an Xbox 360 instead.

Although Sony is still not able to offer a specific date for when the PlayStation Network will return, Sony senior vice president of publisher relations Rob Dyer has written a letter to publishers and developers - apparently the first major communication on the subject.

Currently the only positive news comes from rumours on website NeoGAF, where a moderator named Kagari states that: "The internal PSN developer network is online again, at least it seems for some, although things are still a bit shaky at the moment such as lack of new account sign up".

"Looks like the full network, at least the online play/account part of it, will be back soon," suggests Kagari.

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David Jenkins

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