Sony cuts PS3 price and adds HDMI to base model

  • Tokyo (Japan) - Sony is cutting prices on its upcoming PlayStation 3 even before the 17 November release date. Ken Kutagari, Sony's PlayStation chief, spoke told the audience at the Tokyo Game Show that prices would be cut by 20% and that all models will include HDMI connectors. He also said there will be no further shipment delays.

    The PlayStation 3 will be Sony's newest gaming console and will ship with a Cell processor, Blu-ray disc player and a 20 or 60 GB hard drive. The PS3 with a 20 GB hard drive version will sell for 49,980 yen or about $430. The price for the 60 GB version remains unchanged. Apparently, the price cut only applies to the Japanese market.

    However, it is unlikely that Sony will produce different hardware for Japan and the U.S., which means that gamers on these shores can also expect to see an HDMI port in their base PS3. Sony had previously said that HDMI connectors would only be included with the pricier 60 GB model.

    The PlayStation 3 will start shipping on 17 November in the United States. Americans will pay $499 for the 20 GB hard drive version and $599 for the 60 GB drive PlayStation 3. Europeans will pay $499 and $599 for the same models.

    The price cut of the PS3 comes just two days after Microsoft had announced that it will be offering an Xbox 360-compatible and 1080p-capable HD DVD drive to Japanese customers for $170. The launch of this drive is expected coincide with the introduction of the PS3 and could have put the PS3 at a disadvantage against the Xbox 360.

    Sony originally expected the PlayStation 3 to sell more than 4 million units by the end of the year, but has cut that figure in half to 2 million. Sony blames the cut on a shortage of blue lasers, which are critical components of the Blu-ray drives.