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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

XBOX 360 TO OUT-PRICE PS3?

XBOX 360 TO OUT-PRICE PS3?

"The PS3 will hit shop shelves sporting a much higher pricetag than its rival Xbox 360, according to the latest wave of internet speculation.

Gaming blog Kotaku is quoting a source who has apparently seen the full US Xbox 360 launch line-up (complete with release dates and pricing). According to the source the 360 will launch in the US on November 2 with games retailing at $59.99 ($10 more than current gen games and around £33 before tax).

No mention is made about the price of the system itself but the source does suggest that the Xbox 360 will be cheaper at launch than Sony's PS3, which is expected to launch in spring 2006. What's more, while Microsoft keeps the console price low and the software price high, Sony will allegedly use the higher console price point to drive down software prices.

Remember, it's a rumour. A good rumour, but a rumour all the same.

But this rumour has some interesting and unlikely back-up in the form of Sony's Ken Kutaragi, the Father of PlayStation and all-around PS3 mastermind.

In an interview with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun Kutaragi-san said "it's not such a bad thing to have a high price," before referencing the original PlayStation's success over the Super NES (which was around £150 cheaper in Japan at the time). Is this an admission that PS3 will hit the market with a nosebleed pricepoint?

Past comments from Microsoft executives and e-tailer speculation have pointed at an Xbox 360 price that swings from £150 to £399.

Speculation regarding the PS3's pricepoint, however, has suggested a pricepoint in the range of £200 to £250.

Nintendo's Revolution is expected to be the cheapest of the three next-gen consoles at launch, with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently mentioning that the system would be "affordable". Likewise, Nintendo Europe head of product Marko Hein recently told us "[Nintendo's] strategy is to make our hardware affordable to as many people as possible."
Needless to say, neither Sony nor Microsoft have made any final announcement on their pricing plans for PS3 and Xbox 360 - and are unlikely to for a good while yet. Still, pricepoint speculation is all part of the fun of a new console launch and we'll keep you up to date with the latest.

On another note, the Kotaku source also mentioned that Xbox 360 would let you use picture-in-picture so you could, for instance, watch a DVD at the same time as playing a game. The PS3 will do something similar with multiple HDTV outputs, but pic-in-pic is a great idea for multitasking your entertainment. Let's hope it happens."


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