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Sony Cuts Price of PS3 in Japan
Company cuts the price by 20% in response to complaints about high cost.
Sony Corp., the world’s biggest maker of video game players, cut the price in Japan of its PlayStation 3 by about 20%, responding to complaints that it cost twice as much as rival consoles.
The game player will retail for $430 when it goes on sale in Japan on Nov. 11, Ken Kutaragi, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said Friday at the Tokyo Game Show. The company previously said it would sell models for $540.
“They had to cut it because rivals have lower prices, and they may lower the price again if sales don’t go well,” said Yoku Ihara, head of equity research at Retela Crea Securities Co. in Tokyo. Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer is relying on the PlayStation 3 to revive a company that has lost half its market value in the last six years. The price cut leaves the console, which comes equipped with a high-definition Blu-ray DVD player and a fast processor called the Cell, as the most expensive game box on the market.
“If you consider the PlayStation 3 a toy, then yes, it is an expensive toy,” Kutaragi said in an interview with Japanese game magazine Famitsu in May. “The PlayStation and PlayStation 2 were both 10,000 yen more than their competitors at launch, yet they both sold to shortages.”
Microsoft this month said it would start selling a cheaper version of its Xbox 360 in Japan for 29,800 yen Nov. 2, while Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo is offering its Wii console for 25,000 yen.
The surprise price cut comes after Sony on Sept. 6 said it would delay the European release of its PlayStation 3 by four months until March and cut its 2006 global shipment target by half to 2 million.
The PlayStation 3 will make its debut in Japan on Nov. 11 and in the U.S. on Nov. 17. Nintendo’s Wii console will go on sale Nov. 19 in the U.S. and Dec. 2 in Japan.