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HMV to be PS3 launch partner

<i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> has learned that Sony Computer Entertainment has chosen HMV as the official retail partner for the UK launch of PlayStation 3.

GamesIndustry.biz has learned that Sony Computer Entertainment has chosen HMV as the official retail partner for the UK launch of PlayStation 3.

Sony is due to announce full details of the European PS3 launch and price point next week - but sources have previously told GI.biz that the 60GB model will hit the shops on March 23, priced at GBP 425.

Now a source has revealed that HMV will be Sony's official launch partner, with a special midnight event set to take place at the retailer's flagship Oxford Street store.

Neither Sony nor HMV would confirm the deal, with HMV games boss Tim Ellis telling GI.biz, "There are no confirmed plans just yet with Sony regarding the launch of PS3."

However, he added, "We are currently discussing a range of possible options. I can't say right now whether this will include an official launch event, as such, but it's certainly the case that more and more publishers and games companies are approaching HMV following the success of a number of major launches over the last few years."

Most recently, HMV hosted the launch event for World of Warcraft expansion pack The Burning Crusade, which took place on Monday night. According to Ellis, "The midnight launch attracted a staggering 1500 fans, making it by far the biggest event of its kind ever staged by our Oxford Circus store."

HMV was also Nintendo's official partner for the launch of the Wii in December, and was previously chosen by Sony as its partner for the PSP launch in September 2005.