Console gamers in Japan were able to breathe a slight sigh
of relief today when it was announced that Sony
would trim the price of the basic 20GB PlayStation 3 console to 49,980 yen
or $430 USD (down from $499 USD). The price cut is a direct response to the
cries from the buying public over the high price of entry for the PS3 in
comparison to its competitors. It was also announced that the base system would get HDMI output.
Even with the price reduction, the base PS3 is still priced
well above its competition. It was announced two weeks ago that Microsoft would
introduce the XBOX 360 Core System for the Japanese market at around $255 USD. Last
Thursday, Nintendo announced a price tag of $212 USD for its Wii
Sony's Ken Kutaragi remarked to reporters that "The
Japanese users and media would not stop saying a price tag of over 60,000 yen,
including tax, was too expensive." One must also remember that Kutaragi
was also quoted as saying back in May that the $499/$599 price points were
It should be noted that while the price cut affects the 20GB
PS3 model, there is no word on if the price will also fall on the higher spec'd PS3
with its 60GB hard drive, WiFi, and MemoryStick/SD/CompactFlash
reader. There is also no word as to whether this price cut will extend to PS3s
destined for US shores.
quote: A question on why HDMI only is in the high level version of the PS3 only. Kutaragi explains that sony was worried that if they put the HDMI in the lower version, some would complain about having to pay for something they don't want. However, HDMI penetration has come faster than expected. He then asks people if they want HDMI in all models. Everyone in the audience says yes. He then confirms that all models, including the 20 gig version, will have an HDMI port.