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EA calls for cheaper PSP

New version likely, says Probst.

Electronic Arts boss Larry Probst has said that Sony should consider slashing the price of PSP and introducing a new, smaller model in order to boost sales.

Speaking in an interview with Newsweek, Probst said, "I think what moves the needle is a new form factor that's smaller than the existing unit, at a lower price, and hopefully that price is US$ 100 or lower.

"I think the price point needs to be lower, and I think you're going to see that next year, along with a different form factor," he added.

Whilst Probst was careful to identify his comments as "pure speculation", he said it "would not be hugely surprising" if Sony was to cut the price of the PSP to US$ 149, offering "a more fully-featured upscale unit that retails at US$ 249 or US$ 299".

Probst dismissed suggestions that EA is focused on producing new IP for the PSP, stating, "It's more likely that we would target platforms like the PS3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii if we had an original in mind. Our strategy on PSP has typically been to take the franchises that we build on other platforms and exploit them on the PSP."

However, he went on to concede that consumers won't necessarily want to buy PSP versions of a franchise title if they already own console versions of the same game. "If someone owns Madden on multiple systems already, they're less likely to buy it on PSP. It's true. If you've got Madden on PS2 and Xbox 360, how likely are you to buy it on PSP?"

According to Probst, EA is "interested in interoperability between PSP and Sony's other platforms, and if we can do something along those lines, that would be helpful".

Earlier this week, SCEA declared that sales of the PSP in North America were up by 280 per cent over the Thanksgiving period, with software sales also on the rise.

But Nintendo's rival handheld continues to perform well around the globe, with the company claiming that the DS is outselling PSP by a rate of more than 2.5 to 1 in the UK.