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Larry Probst reckons next-gen games may cost more

At least at first.

EA boss Larry Probst wouldn't be surprised to see next-generation console games retailing for more than current high profile titles. "It would not surprise me to see selected titles carry a higher price point on new-generation consoles, at least initially," he told analysts and investors in the usual post-results conference call this week.

However the boss of the world's biggest games publisher doesn't believe that prices for current format games will dip all that much this year, despite an expected downward trend in prices that's "just going to happen". "My comment would be that premium products will continue to command premium prices, so I would not expect a huge difference [in prices for 2005]."

Probst also said that he "would not expect Sony to have a headstart on the next generation of hardware console systems," adding that "With regard to market share, I would predict that the two companies are closer in market share than they were in this cycle." The EA boss made no mention of Nintendo's competing format, Revolution, about which relatively little is known at this point.

However it's "probably impossible" to predict whether the PS3's launch in 2006 will be early or late, he continued. "It might turn out that PlayStation 3 is launched earlier in Japan than it is in North America and Europe." That we can all certainly believe.