Sony explains UK PS3 price

UK managing director tells <i>The Guardian</i> the reasoning behind giving Brits a higher price.

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The PlayStation 3 will launch in Europe on March 23--some four months after Japan and the US. The console has been confirmed for the UK at a price point of £425 (approx. $838), with only the 60GB version available during the initial launch period. In the US the 60GB console retails at $599 (approx. £304) and in Japan for 59,980 yen (around £253).

In an interview in today's Guardian newspaper, Sony Computer Entertainment's UK managing director, Ray Maguire, explained that there were a "number of reasons" for the console's higher price.

The high rate of value-added tax (17.5 percent in the UK), exchange rate considerations, Sony having to pay UK staff higher wages, retailers taking a bigger chunk than elsewhere in Europe, and the generally higher cost of living were all cited by Maguire.

He said, "If it were $1.40 to the pound as it was a while ago, then the PS3 would be a bargain compared to the US; if it's anything more than that, the UK price appears to be comparatively expensive. But we're dealing with euros and yen--it's about the relationship between those currencies."

Maguire added, "Of course, I would dearly love to have the PlayStation 3 retail price under £400, and at such time as we can afford to do so, we will."

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