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Sony UK: "PS3 will come in at GBP 425"

Sony Computer Entertainment UK MD Ray Maguire has revealed that PlayStation 3 will retail for GBP 425 when it launches in the UK on November 17th, but has defended the price point as "a bargain" for consumers.

Sony Computer Entertainment UK MD Ray Maguire has revealed that PlayStation 3 will retail for GBP 425 when it launches in the UK on November 17th, but has defended the price point as "a bargain" for consumers.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz' sister site Eurogamer TV in an exclusive video interview to be broadcast in the next few days, Maguire gave the first official word on specific pricing plans for the UK, following Sony's confirmation of a 499/599 Euro figure for the 20Gb and 60Gb SKUs during its pre-E3 media briefing.

"I don't think it's an expensive machine; I think actually, it's probably a cheap machine," he commented. "If you think a Blu-Ray player by itself might be GBP 600-700, and we're coming in at just GBP 425 - it's a bargain."

A straight Euros-to-Sterling conversion of the top spec SKU gives a price of around GBP 405. Many in the trade had been expecting this to translate to an SRP in the region of GBP 399-410.

With well-informed retail sources suggesting Sony may not release the lower spec model in the UK at all, a single GBP 425 model would see PlayStation 3 launching in the UK a massive GBP 140 more expensive than its nearest rival, the Xbox 360. Microsoft representatives have reportedly told UK retailers this week that the Xbox 360 and its add-on HD-DVD peripheral will retail together for less than the PS3's price point at Christmas.

"GBP 425 is definitely not a mass-market price, no," Maguire conceded. "But you think about the price, think about the price of just a Blu-Ray player. It will be cheaper than a Blu-Ray player just by itself. So fundamentally we're going to be great value just from that point of view without even looking at the games side."

However, Maguire acknowledged that Sony faces an uphill struggle in communicating this message to consumers with little or no knowledge of next-generation disc formats.

"The point is that most people don't realise what they're actually getting with PlayStation 3," he said. "Number one, it's a games machine and we all know that. But also it's a high definition video playback device through Blu-Ray, and a lot of people don't really understand that part of the functionality either. There's a big story to tell people and a lot of information to be taken on board."

The full exclusive video interview with SCE UK MD Ray Maguire will feature on Eurogamer TV in the coming days.

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Johnny Minkley

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Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.