Just two days after Microsoft announced a new high definition DVD player add-on for the Xbox 360, Sony has said it will slash prices on the PlayStation 3 to help it compete – but only for Japan.
Sony President Ken Kutaragi said the move was in response to consumer complaints the upcoming console was too pricey in Japan. Specifically, the PS3 basic model will go on sale now for 47,600 yen, or about $410 from an originally planned 59,800 yen, or $515.
The PS3 will have Blu-ray technology, meaning that it will be able to play higher resolution DVD movies using a blue laser instead of the standard red one. Microsoft’s decision to launch an HD DVD peripheral in Japan on November 22, based on a rival format to Sony’s Blu-ray, is seen as one attempt to eat into that base. The basic Xbox 360 doesn’t come with any high-definition DVD capability.
In Japan, the new cost of the PS3 equals about the same amount as an Xbox 360 with the add-on. However, Sony said there are no plans to cut the price for any other markets. So buyers in the US and Europe will have to pay full price if they want a PS3. In the U.S., the PS3 will go on sale November 17 at $499 for a 20 gigabyte hard drive version and at $599 for the 60 gigabyte version.
Nintendo said last week its new Wii game console will arrive on schedule in the final quarter of the year, priced below both rivals, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.