Sony Computer Entertainment France president George Fornay has revealed that the PlayStation 3 will be sold for between 500 and 600 Euro when it launches in November, in the clearest indication yet of Sony's pricing strategy.
Speaking to radio station Europe 1 in an interview which has now been widely circulated online, Fornay said that the console would be available for "around 500 Euro", with his expectation being that it will be priced between 499 and 599 Euro.
Arguing in favour of this price point, Fornay said that the inclusion of Blu-Ray and HD functionality justifies the expense of the console, and that compared to other devices offering similar media functionality, the PS3 will be relatively cheap.
Before considering the price, however - which does translate to between roughly $600 and $750 dollars - it's important to bear in mind that European prices are often quoted inclusive of local sales tax, which can be in the region of 20 per cent.
As such, the final US price is likely to be significantly lower than a simple currency exchange would suggest - as low as $500 in fact, with the sales tax difference effectively cancelling out the currency exchange difference.
However, the console will still be priced higher than either the Xbox 360 or the Nintendo Revolution platforms, and will be the most expensive gaming device on the market at launch - in line with Ken Kutaragi's warning that the PS3 will be "expensive", although admittedly not as bad as many analysts have predicted. In fact, a 500 Euro launch price wouldn't be far off the launch prices of many other devices, including the original PlayStation, which makes Fornay's statements seem eminently believable.
The full pricing information for the PS3 isn't expected to be officially announced until Sony's pre-E3 conference on May 9th at the very earliest, and the firm may even hold off on announcing final pricing details until closer to the November worldwide launch of the system.