Sony looking to "refine" cost of PS3, says Stringer

Answer by Christmas.

Sony boss Sir Howard Stringer has said he is aware that consumers would like the cost of PS3 to be lower - confirming that the company is working to "refine" how much it can afford to drop the console's price, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times Stringer said, "While people have not bought as many PlayStation 3s as it looks, it is no different from PS2 and PS1 in terms of percentage of sales."

However, he conceded, "I think that the public would like the cost to be lower, there's no question about that."

When asked by how much Sony could afford to cut the price the CEO replied, "That's what we're studying at the moment; that's what we're trying to refine."

The interviewer then asked if Sony will "come up with an answer by Christmas" - and Stringer answered, "Yes, of course." He went on to observe that PS2 is "selling gangbusters", and that introducing a PSP price cut sent sales of the handheld "into an upward spiral".

"So I think PlayStation 3's travails are usually solved by time. And it will have an instant gratification environment, not only in life but in the press as well as everything else. It's a good story right now, 'Will PlayStation 3 get to Christmas?' And the answer is, of course it will get to Christmas."

According to Stringer, gamers who have already bought a PS3 are happy with the experience it offers - despite the fact the console's full potential has yet to be exploited.

"It takes a long time for producers, and more time because of the cost factor, to embrace the full bandwidth of PlayStation 3," he said.

"It's only using 20 per cent of it right now. And producers will always wait to see how it's going, and once they use the full bandwidth the games experience is stunning.

"And their games will get better," Stringer added, observing that "20 or 30" titles are due out this summer. "So I don't worry about that at all."

On the subject of one of Sony's major rivals in the console space, Stringer had this to offer: "I would be the first to say to you that Nintendo Wii has been a successful enterprise and a very good business model compared to ours... Because it's cheaper."

When it was suggested by the interviewer that Wii might also be considered "more creative, more fun" Stringer replied, "No, no. Fun is in the eye of the experiencer... I think PlayStation 3 is following a particular trend of 1 and 2, and if you looked at the history of it, it's a very similar history."

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