The PlayStation Network incident is bound to cost Sony a pretty penny but many are wondering: how much?
Well, in addition to warning investors of a $3.2 billion loss for the upcoming fiscal year 2010 earnings report (a period that comes before the PSN issue), the company has offered an estimate of "the impact" of the attack, primarily because there "have been so many media inquiries about this incident."
They say their "currently known associated costs" for the fiscal year ending March 2012 are around 14 billion yen, which is roughly $171 million. This is about what Sony expects to spend in the coming year; those costs are for the new personal ID theft protection program, the "welcome back" program, customer support, network security upgrades and enhancements, and legal costs. If you're wondering, Sony says they have already factored in the losses of PSN and Qriocity services due to the downtime.
The only thing that might significantly alter that forecast is if we ever learn of identity theft issues directly related to the assault on the PSN:
"So far, we have not received any confirmed reports of customer identity theft issues, nor confirmed any misuse of credit cards from the cyber-attack. Those are key variables, and if that changes, the costs could change."
As for any potential impact of lawsuits, Sony says they're all in a "preliminary stage" so they can't predict any outcome just yet. We also want to know how and why losses for the last fiscal year are so high; according to the numbers, it definitely wasn't the fault of the PlayStation brand, which saw growth throughout 2010.