There is no doubting that Sony was late to the game with the PlayStation Network. Even though the PS2 did feature some online gaming, albeit very late in its lifecycle, it didn’t feature a robust, feature-filled platform like Xbox Live. The PlayStation Network launched along side the PS3 back in November of 2006 and has since grown into a thriving platform that is rivaling Xbox Live’s paid service. Despite Xbox Live’s 4 year head start, the PS3 has more users connected online that any other console.
According to new data released by US analyst The Diffusion Group, the PS3 is the most well connected console on the market. This is quite a surprise considering the Xbox 360’s lead in the US, and the fact Xbox Live has been around for 8 years. The research shows that 78% of PlayStation 3 owners are connected to the internet. The Xbox 360 comes in a close second at 73% and the Wii a distant third place with only 54% of users connected online.
Could this difference between the PS3 and Xbox 360 be attributed to the cost involved with getting your Xbox 360 online? Granted you can be connected to Xbox Live via a Silver Membership using the console’s Ethernet port. However the idea of having to pay an annual fee for the almost necessary Gold Membership is enough to steer some people from ever checking out 360’s online features. Another issue, again having to do with the Xbox 360’s admission to play online, is the fact you need to purchase some sort of wireless adapter to connect the console to your home’s wireless network. Something that isn’t an issue with the PS3 nor the Wii, both of which come with built in Wi-Fi out of the box.
The Nintendo Wii could be suffering from the fact its user base consists mostly of casual gamers. Causal gamers may not be as tech savvy as hardcore gamer and might have trouble setting up a wireless network. That, or many of the Wii owners just aren’t aware that the console can connect online. Then again, it could be because all of those Wii sports playing grannies at the senior center never even heard of the internet.