Japan: Sony to Cut PS3 Price

Sony has indicated in the past week that it plans to offer price points about 20 percent lower than it previously planned in Japan for PlayStation 3. The planned price cut, coming before even the first PS3 has reached market anywhere is being interpreted by various tech publications as a preemptive step to compete with Microsoft's Xbox 360, which has already sold several million units globally, and Nintendo, which will introduce its Wii console by year's end.

Wii's suggested retail price will be lower than PS3 and Xbox, albeit without the benefit of either Blu-ray or HD DVD capabilities like its two rivals. According to the Associated Press, Sony execs said at the recent Tokyo Game Show in Makuhari (near Tokyo) that PS3 will be launched inside Japan at the lower price because of complaints that the upcoming game console's original price points would put it off limits financially for many young PS2 loyalists.

Sony reportedly will cut the Japanese price for PS3 to about $410, which is close to the combined price of the basic Xbox 360 console and add-on HD DVD player in Japan. PS3 is set to hit Japanese shelves by Nov. 11 with a launch less than a week later in North America. There are no initial price cuts expected for the launch in North America.