PS3 price rumours start

Japanese paper kicks it all off.

And so it begins. Just days after the PlayStation 3 was unveiled for the first time at Sony's pre-E3 press conference, Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbum claims the company has offered the first hint as to a price point.

According to the May 17 article, Sony officials told the paper that the PS3 will go on sale in Japan with a launch price of “less than 50,000 yen” - approximately $465 or £255 at current exchange rates.

But thanks to good old rip-off Britain, that means we could expect to pay upwards of £400 for our shiny new machine - making it one of the most expensive consoles ever launched in the UK.

Last year industry analysts Wedbush Morgan Securities suggested a PS3 price point of $500, arguing that added media functions - such as TiVO-style capabilities and a DVD burner - could push up the cost. Erm, except Sony announced no such functions at its press conference on Monday.

Microsoft is also keeping tight-lipped regarding a price for the Xbox 360, but analysts have speculated that it will launch somewhere around the $400 mark. Nintendo's Revolution console, a much lower-spec machine than the PS3 and 360, is expected to carry a much lower price tag accordingly.

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