The PlayStation Network issue is a big deal, but the real question is: what long-term effects will it have on Sony and the PlayStation brand?
Well, according to EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich, while there will most certainly be a short-term effect, Sony should rebound to full strength a few months down the road. The analyst notes that "as the shift to a cashless society continues," security breaches such as the one that hit the PSN "will continue to occur." Essentially, there's just no avoiding it so we all must remain vigilant. He also reminds us that what happened with the Network "happens daily around the world." Here's the official EEDAR statement on the matter:
"We are saddened to hear about the recent events with Sony’s PlayStation Network. What happened to Sony could have happened to anyone one and we believe Sony will continue their vigilance in restoring the PlayStation Network. In addition, we believe Sony will continue to provide full transparency to consumers as to what personal information has been compromised in addition to providing information on the steps consumers should take in order to secure the compromised information. To date they have gone above and beyond their legal requirements on keeping consumers informed and this is something we should all appreciate in light of these events."
Now, as far as impact on the PlayStation brand and its platforms, Divnich believes in the short-term, software and digital purchases will be negatively affected but as time goes on, he sees "no cause for concern for Sony or third-party publishers." Here are a few bullet-points to take home with you:
— EEDAR believes that sales levels for software and hardware will return to normal within a matter of months. It is assumed that Sony will make great efforts to restore the consumer confidence of the PlayStation Network.
— EEDAR expects to see Sony dedicate greater resources to the PlayStation network and the online experience as a result of this event. This may include providing additional exclusive content in order to restore consumer confidence.
— EEDAR does not believe that this security breach will have any long-term negative economical impact on the PlayStation Network environment.
And one last thing- Divnich cites the "Red Ring of Death" problem with the Xbox 360 – an ongoing hardware issue that lasted for years – as proof that consumers are forgiving. Yeah, well, can't argue with that. Consumers would have to be forgiving in the face of a 1-in-3 hardware failure ratio; the 360 pulled through just fine, didn't it?