It’s been 34 days since Sony took the PlayStation Network offline because of an ‘Unauthorized network access’, and while most of the PSN is up and running, Sony has figured out how much of a financial hit the breach will cost them.
In a statement released this morning, Sony estimated that the current known cost from the cyber attack is ¥14 billion, which translates to roughly $172 million. The estimate came in an update of financial forecasts that Sony will release in more detail later this week.
While the $172 million figure is eye popping, the recent earthquakes in Japan and their after-effects will have a much higher toll on Sony’s financial situation. The technology giant expects its operating income to be reduced by $208 million due to the natural disaster.
Those financial forecasts come directly from Sony, but others are estimating the cost of the outage much higher. A UK website has created an infographic that details the timeline of the hack, and what they feel is a better cost estimate. The infographic assumes that each customer’s data breach will cost the company $318. Spread that over the 208 million customers who had their information compromised and the cost to Sony is closer to $24 billion (you can see the full infographic below).
While the infographic assumes the worst, Sony’s numbers don’t take into account the potential lost revenue that the breach will cost them. In the UK, PlayStation 3 trade-ins reportedly saw a "massive increase" during the outage, with some retailers reporting trade-ins up "over 200 percent." Half those who traded PS3s took cash, the other half opted to buy Xbox 360s. This is all in addition to class action lawsuits and a dramatic dip in Sony stock.
How much the security breach impacts Sony, both in terms of revenue and customer base, can only be known in time, but the immediate future looks rough. Sony will try and persuade gamers to come back to the console with their "Welcome Back" appreciation program, which should begin shortly after the PlayStation Store comes back online.
Have you stuck with Sony though the past month? Are you still going to be downloading from the PlayStation Store or will you hold off for a while? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter.