Sony exec pegs PS3 at about 500 euros?

Vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe says 500 euros (about $615) is expensive for a game console, but cheap for a Blu-ray player.

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While Sony unveiled a number of its upcoming plans for the PlayStation 3 last month at the PlayStation Business Briefing and in its Game Developers Conference keynote address, a few details are still conspicuously unannounced, most notably the price of the machine. It's been an increasingly hot topic of discussion since a February Merrill Lynch report pegged the manufacturing cost of the system at a whopping $900, but now Sony Computer Entertainment Europe vice president Georges Fornay has addressed the issue.

In an interview with Europe 1 radio program Générations Europe 1 yesterday, Fornay was asked about speculation that the PS3 would retail for $500.

"If we take into account Blu-ray, HD video with drives priced at around 1,000 euros and above, [the PS3] will be a bargain," Fornay told Europe 1. "If we only look at the game function, it's true that consoles were usually priced under 500 euros. We will be at this price point ["nous serons dans cette fourchette," or price fork]. It will be expensive if we only look at the game aspect of the machine, but it will be very cheap if we account for the set of technologies that it will integrate."

Even if the PS3 does hit shelves for 500 euros, that doesn't necessarily mean American gamers will be paying upwards of $615 for the PS3 when it comes out. Price points vary between territories, and systems are frequently more expensive across the pond. For instance, the Xbox 360 core and premium packages launched for $299 and $399 in the US, and 299 euros (about $367) and 399 euros (about $491) in Europe.

[UPDATE 4/6]: A Sony representative eventually returned GameSpot's request for comment, saying, "This interview was misinterpreted and at this time, there has not been any official announcement from Sony Computer Entertainment on pricing for the PlayStation 3 worldwide."

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