Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sony cuts PS3 price, announces MGS4's exclusivity

Sony Corp.'s $100 price cut for the PlayStation 3 is not enough to turn the fortunes of the game console, which has suffered a slow start, an executive of game software maker Konami Corp. said.

Sony cut the PS3 price to $500 in the United States on Monday, in a bid to ignite demand. But it still costs twice that of Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Wii console, whose $250 price and motion-sensing controller have made it a best-seller despite its lack of cutting-edge graphics.

"I wonder if Sony can win back user support by the price cut of just $100," Kazumi Kitaue, the head of Konami's North American and European operations, told Reuters in an interview ahead of this week's E3 video game industry trade show.

"I don't expect a substantial impact ... With $500, you can buy a personal computer."

Sony has packed its cutting-edge technology including a Blu-ray high-definition DVD player and high-performance chips in the PS3. The advanced functions enable life-like graphics, but have driven up production costs.

Its high price and a lack of attractive software have been cited as major reasons for the PS3's plight.

Kitaue said Konami may need to expand the target hardware for its blockbuster fighting game Metal Gear Solid, which has so far been developed for Sony's PlayStation machines, to other consoles in the future to recoup development costs.

"Since Metal Gear Solid was born for the PlayStation, we would like to keep it a PlayStation game. But we might have to take some steps," Kitaue said.

Konami plans to launch Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PS3 in the current business year to March 2008.

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