Sony announced a landmark this week for its PlayStation Network: 20 million users worldwide, as of February 20. According to the presser, that breaks down to 5 million in the first 14 months of service, 5 million more 8 months later, and an additional 10 million the 7 months after that. There's quite a few caveats to consider here, as that includes PSP and PS3 users as well as anyone who wishes to use the official PS forums, whether or not they own one of the aforementioned consoles.
However, more interesting to us is a note about the service generating $180 million life to date in revenue. It's a stark contrast to Xbox Live's reported $1 billion revenue since its 2002 launch, as of E3 2009. Based on figures from leaked to Seattle P-I this week, which said XBL had 10 million subscribers worldwide and a 56 percent Gold subscriptions rate in February 2008, we can do some fuzzy math. Assuming those Gold members paid the $50 annual subscription -- or $4.16 monthly, the cheapest per month option -- that amounts to $23.3 million for the month, not accounting for discounts or free Gold trials. Presuming no subscription growth for sake of argument -- we know it's growing -- that's $280 million annually, well over PSN's life to date revenues. Say what you will about mean ol' Microsoft charging for online play, the numbers seem to go in its favor.
Read - Leaked XBL data
Read - Comparing XBL vs. PSN
Read - Sony press release