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Retailers are starting to report increased trade-ins of PlayStation 3 consoles for Microsoft’s Xbox 360s as gamers run out of patience with Sony’s online outage, according to game publication Edge.

Citing industry sources, Edge reported a growing trend of PS 3 consoles being traded in for cash or Xbox 360s. It also said sales of PSN points cards, which can be used to purchase games or movies on the PlayStation Network, have decreased. More than 77 million PSN registered users haven’t been able to play online games or download new content for more than three weeks because of a hacker attack that undermined the security of the network.

Hardcore gamers are pretty passionate about their game consoles. Many stuck with Microsoft even as it struggled through its billion-dollar Xbox 360 defects problem a couple of years ago. But some gamers are on the fence now with PSN. One store manager in the United Kingdom told Edge that from the second week of the outage onward, there has been a 200 percent increase in PS 3 consoles being traded in.

Tom Mestdagh, of Belgian indie retailer Gameswap, told Edge, “At the end of each month people come to sell their consoles. People that need money [to pay bills]. What’s different this time around is that they are bringing in PS3s together with all their games, and they don’t want money, they want an Xbox 360. In every case it is because of Black Ops and/or Modern Warfare 2.”


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The timing is great for Microsoft because it landed an exclusive for the Call of Duty Black Ops map pack, Escalation, which launched last week. Millions of Call of Duty fans can play that new content on Xbox Live or the Xbox 360, but not on the PS 3.

Microsoft said it sold 297,000 Xbox 360s in April, up 60 percent from a year ago, according to market researcher NPD. The outage started on April 20. Sony sold 204,000 PS 3 consoles in April, up 13 percent from 180,800 a year earlier. Sony said PS 3 software sales were up 40 percent from a year ago.

Patrick Seybold, a spokesman for Sony, said, “We continue to see a lot of great momentum at the retail level and appreciate the support we’ve received from our partners, retailers and customers since the criminal attack on the PlayStation Network. We hope to have services restored as soon as we can.”

Mestdagh said the PS 3 returns are up 200 percent compared to March, even though that only includes 10 days of the month. Edge acknowledges that it has surveyed a small sample of retailers. What do you think? Please take our poll below. Please explain your vote in the comments.

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