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Microsoft UK has responded to Sony's recent claim that the PlayStation Network has exceeded 20 million registered accounts, questioning what exactly it means.

Last month Sony sparked intense debate after it sent out a press release announcing that "the cumulative number of registered accounts on PlayStation Network has exceeded 20 million as of February 20, 2009".

The announcement suggested PSN had three million more registered users than Xbox LIVE, which, according to Microsoft's latest figures, has more than "17 million active members".

However, speaking to, Microsoft's head of gaming and entertainment in the UK, Stephen McGill, said that "there's questions over what does Sony's numbers really mean".

He said: "When we talk about our numbers we feel they're active users who are actively engaged in all the forms of entertainment we offer on Xbox 360. I think if you look at the comments made on the forums, or the comments made by analysts at Screen Digest then there's questions over, well what does Sony's numbers really mean? Are they duplicates? I think there's a lot of questions there.

"All I'm really worried about is, I know I'm the largest online video on demand service in the UK, we are worldwide, we've got a great online service the others can't come close to. They're not right now. When you think of our heritage as a company Microsoft has proven we are probably the only company in the world that can offer great online experiences for millions and millions and millions of people. And that's what we do every day with Xbox LIVE."

McGill added: "Sony do what Sony want to do and if they think that's right for their business to say those kind of numbers then they can do and will do whatever they want to do. Do I believe them? No."

For more from McGill head elsewhere on for the interview in full.

What do you think readers? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments

CheekyLee's Avatar


In my life, I have personally been responsible for 5 XBox Live accounts. (1 closed due to inactivity when I moved to a house with no phone line, 1 current active Gold, as well as US, JP, and Korean Silvers.) I also gave away more or less every trial code I ever got, back in the days when we got them with the normal XBox. I could lay claim to at least 20 Live accounts since the service started, I reckon.

I am currently sitting on 1 UK PSN account, 1 US, and 1 HK. Make of these figures what you will, it tells me that they are meaningless.
Posted 13:31 on 09 March 2009
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Rickitis

Whilst battle of the PRs is fun to watch they should really just let the consoles do the talking.

The mental image I'm getting is of a fashion show, Nintendo strolling down the catwalk whilst Sony and Microsoft break out into a catfight behind and ruin their outfits.

Some will comment:
"Ha! Sony broke a heel!"
"Yeah, but Microsoft don't have very good stitching."
But the majority will remember what Nintendo's dress looked like.
Posted 13:01 on 09 March 2009
Woffls's Avatar


It's also due to the hardware. PS3 can connect to wireless and wired networks right out the box. 360 can only connect to wired. For most people it's far too much effort to run an ethernet cable from the 360 to their router downstairs, but many will make the effort to put a WPA key in to get a PS3 on their network.

Compare the amount of data moved over the Xbox Live network and the PSN, and PSN will get absolutely destroyed.
Posted 12:59 on 09 March 2009
Rickitis's Avatar


I completely agree pblive! Plus honestly does it really matter? I don't think anyone is bothered by the statements from either Microsoft or Sony.
Posted 12:45 on 09 March 2009


Oh Dear! Here we go again, on the PR merry-go-round. Hold Tight!

Yes, the cumulative number of registered accounts on PlayStation Network has exceeded 20 million is a correct statement, whether you debate how that's made up or not.

What we all know is that the PSN is littered with people who have 2 or 3 accounts as well as many who only know how to create one (so it's no good taking half of that figure as you're only accounting for those who are technical enough to create new PSN accounts).

But then XBL accounts at 17 million accounts for Gold and Silver membership, which will include many people who are not active on XBL, so it's swings and roundabouts really.
Posted 11:52 on 09 March 2009
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