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Thu, Jun 07, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Sony could cut price of PS3 amid red-hot competition

AFP AND AP , TOKYO

Sony Corp could cut the price of the PlayStation 3 which is facing fierce competition from Nintendo's Wii, the president of the electronics giant said in an interview published yesterday.

Sony "does not rule out the possibility of lowering the price" of the PS3, Sony president Ryoji Chubachi told the Yomiuri Shimbun.

He said the company would make a full assessment of the competitive situation in the home videogame market.

Sony slashed the price of the PS3 20 percent in Japan ahead of its launch there last November as it prepared for a fierce fight against cheaper games consoles from rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.

Even after the price reduction, however, the PS3 is still the most expensive of the three main next-generation videogames consoles on the market by far and many analysts say Sony will need to lower the price further.

Rival Nintendo is enjoying strong sales of the Wii, known for its motion-sensitive controller, outselling the PS3 by more than five to one in Japan last month,research from publisher Enterbrain showed.

Speculation about a possible price cut for the PS3 has grown since Sony announced this week it would lower the price of its new Blu-ray high-definition DVD player for the North American market by US$100 to US$499.

Separately, Sony said it would invest ?60 billion (US$492 million) to ramp up production of image sensors used in digital cameras.

The expansion at Sony's Kumamoto image sensor factory in southern Japan will span the next three years, the company said in a statement.

Tokyo-based Sony did not say by how much output would be boosted, but the Nikkei said the investment would increase capacity 20 percent.

The Kumamoto facility makes CMOS sensors and micro-display devices that are used in hot-selling camera-equipped mobile phones and digital cameras.

Sony is increasing its production capacity to match an expecting surge in Japan.

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