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Friday, September 22, 2006
Sony Slashes Price Tag for Delay-hit PlayStation 3

Sony has slashed the planned price of its delay-ridden PlayStation 3 by 20% Japan, preparing for a sharp dogfight against cheaper games consoles from rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.

Sony Computer Entertainment cut the retail price of the standard PlayStation 3 (PS3) to 49,980 yen (430 dollars) from 62,790 yen as it gears up for a crucial domestic launch in time for the year-end holiday shopping season.

The announcement, made at the Tokyo Game Show, comes as Sony struggles to shore up investor confidence after a series of delays to the pivotal new PS3 and a spate of embarrassing recalls of its computer batteries.

Sony hopes the deep price cut for the standard 20-gigabyte hard disc version of the PS3, which is due to go on sale in Japan on November 11, will put it in a better position to compete with rivals Nintendo and Microsoft.

"We wanted to offer a sense of affordability to Japanese game players," said a spokeswoman for Sony Computer Entertainment.

In addition, Sony's forthcoming 20GB version of the PlayStation 3 video game console will feature an HDMI 1.3 output.

The port, which had been previously announced as standard on the stepped-up 60GB model, allows games to be played in full high-definition video and audio.

The company said its decision was made in part by the "sharp increase" in flat-panel televisions now sold with high-definition multimedia interface ports, or HDMI.

Nintendo will launch its next-generation Wii game machine in December at a price of 25,000 yen while Microsoft plans to cut the price of its already launched Xbox 360 to 29,800 yen on November 2.

Sony, which is recovering from a profit slump, said the price tag of the high-end version featuring a 60-gigabyte hard disc will also be lowered but did not disclose the reduced price.

It maintained its planned retail price of 499 dollars for the standard PS3 in the United States ahead of the November launch there.

Xbox 360 owners will soon be able to purchase an external HD DVD drive, Blu-ray's opposing format in the next-generation high-definition video race.

The success of the PS3 is considered vital to a revival at Sony, which is in the midst of major restructuring including 10,000 job cuts.

Sony was forced to delay the global launch of the PS3 by about six months until November this year, giving the Xbox 360 a one-year head start.

The company spooked investors again earlier this month by announcing a fresh delay until March 2007 to the rollout of the PS3 in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia.

Product name
Playstation 3
Cell Broadband engine
Dolby Digital 5.1ch, DTS 5.1ch, LPCM 7.1ch, AAC etc.
2.5" SATA
USB 2.0
(x1 / 10 BASE-T, 100 BASE-TX, 100BASE-T)
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)
Wireless Controller (Blutooth)
A/V output
480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI 1.3 x 1
x 1
Digital Out
BD/DVD/CD drive
(playback only)
Maximum read rate
BD 2x (BD-ROM)
CD 24x (CD-ROM)
Super Audio CD
325 x 98 x 274 (W x H x L)
Approx. 5kg

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