Microsoft may entice existing Playstation Network users with free Xbox Live membership in order to benefit from the three week period that Sony estimates will be necessary to restore full service to PSN.
The current going price for the annual Gold subscription for the Xbox Live currently stands at £29.97 at Amazon, and it would make plenty of sense for Microsoft to give it away for free given the amount of new business this could generate.
A survey carried out in the US last month highlighted the perils that might face Sony should Microsoft decide to take advantage of the chaos caused by the data breach.
The research carried out by CouponCodes4U in the US found that around a fifth of Playstation 3 owners may consider switching allegiance to Microsoft. Given that the Xbox 360 gaming consoles and its games are normally cheaper than the PS3, it might make sense for some to switch.
And there might be some indication that this is already happening. Amazon UK is showing a rise of 32 per cent in the sales rank of the Xbox 360 Console (250GB Hard Drive) with Kinect Sensor and Kinect Adventures bundle, which doesn't come that cheap at £270.
Membership to Sony's Playstation Network is free and allows users to play online, chat to friends and family as well as surf the web and even stream video content.