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PS3 price "is a concern", says SEGA of America exec

SEGA of America executive Scott Steinberg has said that the high price of the PlayStation 3 "is a concern" - but that Sony's strong foothold in the marketplace should ensure that the console is a hit with consumers.

SEGA of America executive Scott Steinberg has said that the high price of the PlayStation 3 "is a concern" - but that Sony's strong foothold in the marketplace should ensure that the console is a hit with consumers.

Speaking to GameDaily.com, Steinberg said that the PS3 prices announced by Sony - US$499 for the 20GB model, and US$599 for the 60GB version - are "within expectations... So there's no real suprise there."

"I think it's an expensive device, but it's a very powerful device. Their job is to convince the world that Blu-ray has a high utility and delivers on a promise, a value promise, and I'm sure they'll sell out," he continued.

"Definitely, the [price] is a concern, but globally the brand is so strong that when you think about the marketplace in Japan, North America and Europe, Sony has been the clear winner. So there's a lot of marketing momentum and sales momentum that they're going to absolutely carry into the PS3."

Steinberg reaffirmed SEGA's commitment to Sony's new console, with titles such as Virtua Fighter 5 coming to PS3 straight from the arcades "in a relatively few number of months" - with "very little if any noticeable degradation to the graphics."

"So, effectively you've got thousands of dollars worth of arcade tech in a machine that's 500 bucks, 600 bucks. So there's a lot of value in that machine," he concluded.

The PS3 "is going to be successful," according to Steinberg - but Sony does "have a job to do and selling and marketing it not only to gamers... They've also got to play with the Blu-Ray platform in the consumer electronics market as well."

"So they've really got to do two things with their tech to get this platform to be successful."

In addition, Steinberg argued, Sony may need to bring in a price cut soon after launch: "They're going to have to lifecycle price the hardware in a way that brings it to the masses, I would think relatively soon, because it is expensive. For a lot of families [the launch price is] too expensive."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.