Sony has revealed its first statistics regarding its PlayStation Network for the PS3. The company has amassed over 1.3 million users for the free online service. That's several million behind Xbox Live, but it's not a bad start for a console that's only been available since last November.
According to Dave Karraker, Sony Computer Entertainment America's Sr. Director, Corporate Communications, the PS3's PlayStation Network has reached 1.3 million users globally. 600,000 of those are located in North America where the new Sony console has been on the market for five months.
SCEA also revealed that 3.7 million pieces of content have been downloaded since the PS3's launch. It's not clear how many of those are actual downloadable game purchases. We'd wager that the majority of the downloads are coming from free demos and movie trailers—an area that Sony has been refreshing fairly consistently on the PlayStation Store.
According to the recent NPD data, life-to-date PS3 sales in the U.S. stand at 1.2 million. We don't currently have access to the PS3 install base total up north in Canada, but adding whatever that (likely small) figure is to the 1.2 million and dividing by the 600,000 PSN users in North America shows that fewer than half of PS3 owners are going online with the new system.
By comparison, in the months following the Xbox 360 launch, Xbox Live users comprised almost 60 percent of the Microsoft console's install base at the time. Xbox Live currently has more than 6 million members, both silver (free) and gold (paying). Of course, it's not entirely fair to compare PSN to Xbox Live, as Microsoft's online service has been available since 2002.