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Tretton defends high platform pricing

"People are used to spending several hundreds of dollars to get a portable device"

SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton has defended high price points for platform hardware, saying that the quality of a console or handheld is reflected in its pricing.

Speaking in a series of video interviews with Fast Company, Tretton compared the purchase of gaming equipment to other consumer electronics such as iPhones or iPods.

"I think when you're buying a platform, when you're buying technology, you're hopefully buying a device you're going to enjoy for many, many years," Tretton claims.

"People are used to spending several hundreds of dollars to get a portable device. I think in the long run, when you look at that total investment in a platform, the amount of money you spend on the hardware is a relatively small percentage of the total investment.

"It's not to say the price of the platform isn't a consideration, but I don't think price makes or kills a platform. Something that's lousy, that's very inexpensive, is not going to be successful, and something that's pricey will ultimately find its audience if there's enough value there."

The comments would seem to be setting the stage for a relatively high purchase price for Sony's forthcoming NGP handheld, which Tretton himself postulated could be delayed into a staggered territory release by last month's Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster.

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Dan Pearson