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Sony slashes PlayStation 3 price

Console maker hopes to appease Japanese

Sony kicked off the Tokyo Game Show with a surprise for Japanese consumers: a price cut for the yet-to-be-launched PlayStation 3 console.

The cheapest of two versions of the console will cost ¥49,980 (about £225) in Japan, said Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony's computer entertainment division, in a speech at the show this morning. That's nearly £60 cheaper than the previously announced price of ¥62,790 (£283).

"In Japan there is a perception that one hundred yen is the same as one dollar and one euro so Japanese people feel it's a little expensive," said Sony spokesperson Nanako Kato. The US launch price is $499 and the cut would bring the Japanese price in line with that of the US in the minds of consumers, she said.

Asked whether there was now a risk that consumers in the US and Europe would perceive the PlayStation 3 to be overpriced in their markets, she said: "I guess we'll find that out from now."

Sony also said it would fit an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) on both versions of the PlayStation 3. The company had previously said it would only be available on the higher-end model.

The PlayStation 3, Sony's first new games console in more than five years, is scheduled to launch in Japan on 11 November and in the US on 17 November. It was supposed to be available in the UK at the same time as the US launch but problems obtaining sufficient supply of blue laser diodes for the console's optical disc drive pushed Sony to delay the European launch until 2007.

Go here to see our first impressions of the PlayStation 3 from the Tokyo Game Show.


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