PlayStation gets $50 pre-Xmas price cut

Sony is slashing the price of its PlayStation 3 game console across North America, Europe and in Japan, the company said today, as it looks to spur demand ahead of the year-end shopping season.

Sony Computer Entertainment cut the price Wednesday for 160-gigabyte PS3 from US$299 to US$249 in North America and from 299 euros to 249 euros in Europe.

Starting Thursday, the company will also lower the price in Japan, from 29,980 yen to 24,980, while slashing some 14 percent off the prices of a 320-gigabyte PS3 in the three leading markets, now costing US$299.

Sony’s move came after its rival Nintendo cut the price of its slow-selling 3DS handheld console, released in February, by around 40 percent to 15,000 yen from August 11 in Japan.

Nintendo has said similar cuts will follow in foreign markets by September as it looks to revive the fortunes of the world’s first video game console with a 3-D screen that works without special glasses.

The move has been seen to spur sales of the handheld console, which analysts say in turn may have prompted Sony’s decision to cut the cost of its PS3.

The company sold 214,821 units of 3DS in Japan for the week of Aug. 8-14 – the second largest weekly sales figure since the week of its launch in February, according to data released Tuesday by game magazine publisher Enterbrain Inc, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Sony has sold more than 50 million PS3 worldwide, expanding the portfolio of games and video content on its PlayStation Network to more than 60,000 titles.

In April its PlayStation online gaming network was hit by a cyber attack that compromised the personal data of millions of accounts.

Nintendo shares were up 2.4 percent at 11,980 yen in Osaka trade Wednesday. In Tokyo, Sony shares were off 2.64 percent at 1,655 yen.




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