PlayStation 3 price still being debated

Sony Computer Entertainment executive says next-gen price point still undetermined; explains dearth of playable PS3 games at TGS 2005.

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With Microsoft announcing its worldwide pricing scheme for the Xbox 360, the onus is now on Sony Computer Entertainment to decide how much its PlayStation 3 will cost consumers.

However, SCE also needs to assure third-party publishers that its next-gen console will be affordable for a wide enough audience to ensure PS3 games will be profitable to make. Recently, Koei CEO Keiko Erikawa commented that her company would consider shifting to another platform if PS3 development proves too expensive. This is despite the fact the company is currently a big supporter of the PS3, announcing two new games at the 2005 Tokyo Game Show alone.

In an interview published in the latest issue of Famitsu, SCE executive Masatsuka Saeki emphasized that the pricing of the PS3 remains a vital--and difficult--issue for Sony. He confirmed that the company has not yet decided on a price, saying that it will be the subject of debate until the last possible minute.

When asked why there were no playable PS3 games at the 2005 Tokyo Game Show, as previously promised by SCE president Ken Kutaragi, Saeki revealed that there was a long discussion inside Sony before the show opened. While many executives argued that it would be good for the public to play demos, eventually the decision was made to only show E3-style trailers, as it was the first time the PS3 was being shown publicly in Japan.

When asked if there would be any changes to the February PS3 event where playable demos will be on hand, Saeki did not respond directly. However, he did say that SCE is planning something for the event that is sure to be a "major" surprise.

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