Sony announces slimmer, cheaper PlayStation 3

After months of rumours and anticipation, Sony is slashing the price of the PlayStation 3.

On top of the price cuts, a new 120GB slimline version of the powerful gaming machine will go on sale here from the beginning of next month for £249.99. The pricing of the current 80GB system will also be reduced.

Sales of the PlayStation 3, which launched in 2006 and cost as much as US$600 at the time, have fallen behind rival consoles. Last week, market researcher NPD Group said US retail stores sold about 122,000 units of the console in July, compared with nearly 203,000 for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and more than 252,000 for the Nintendo Co.'s Wii.

Video game software makers hope Sony's price cut will boost game sales ahead of the holidays. So far this year, the industry has suffered from weak sales because of the recession and lacklustre game release schedules, which have kept consumers waiting to spend money on new titles.



Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said there is no question the consumer reaction to the cuts will be "phenomenal."

Customers, he said in an interview, "absolutely believe that it's the technologically superior device. (They) absolutely want one but have had trouble justifying the price."

The Wii has cost £179 since its 2006 launch, while Xbox 360 prices start at £129. The basic PS3 model remains more expensive than the cheapest versions of its counterparts.

Console sales for the rest of the year will have to be strong, if not phenomenal, for the video game industry to end 2009 on a high note. Year-to-date, overall sales are down 14 per cent in the US, according to the NPD Group.

Still, analysts anticipate the business will pick up for the holidays, because many hit game launches are planned for the fall.

The PlayStation price cut will also help, as would cuts from the other console makers. Analysts also expect Nintendo to bring down the price of the Wii, though it might be in the way of keeping the price tag at $250 but throwing in more free games.

Tretton compared the spring and summer to the NFL preseason when it comes to video game sales, in that "no one pays attention and no one keeps score."

The PlayStation 3 price cut has been highly anticipated. On Tuesday morning, at least two retailers - Sears and Kmart - seemed to jump the gun on Sony and posted the new prices on their websites.

Sony did not cut the price of its handheld gaming system, the PlayStation Portable. It did, however, announce it is adding a digital reader service that will allow PSP owners to download comics - including content from Marvel Entertainment's Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four - beginning in December.

Nintendo had no comment on Sony's or its expected price cut and a representative for Microsoft's Xbox division did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.



Source: The New Zealand Herald

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?