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Any Legal Issues Aside, PSN Outage Will Cost Sony

Many of us are expecting compensation from Sony for having to deal with about 2 weeks of no online gaming, but what many don’t realize is that the entity that will be most affected by the outage is Sony itself.

According to Wedbush Morgan analyst, Michael Pachter, the PSN brings Sony a total revenue of $10 million a week, $3 million of which is profit. Given that the sales will likely be halted for about two weeks, that alone costs Sony $20 million in revenue.

Now, keep in mind, that’s sales figures. Given the circumstances of the outage, consumer confidence in online purchasing will likely drop, causing a further decrease in revenue after the PSN comes back up. This trend, if it is going to happen, will likely continue for a few months from now.

But now you have to take into consideration the cost to have a third party security firm come in and investigate the whole mess. Forbes inquired a security firm, the Ponemon Institute, for how much it would cost to do such an investigation. The quote they got was a total of $318 per record for a data breach involving a criminal act.

Assuming Sony is paying a security firm that charges similar fees, each individual account will be a different record, and at $318 a piece, and about 77 million accounts, this, alone, will, theoretically, cost Sony about as much as $24.5 billion. Unless their security firm has a “purchase in bulk” discount, but I doubt Costco has such a business.

As for compensation, which many are expecting, especially those who have subscription-based services, Hulu+ users have already been given one week’s credit (and if the outage lasts a little longer, they might give two week’s worth). Sony Online Entertainment (Free Realms and DC Universe Online) is also going to compensate for lost time, including special events and other compensation (like, possibly, extension of subscription, etc).