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So how much will the Sony games handheld cost?

Answer: A helluva lot more than GBA

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New comments made by recently promoted Sony Europe president Chris Deering regarding the PlayStation Portable have hinted at a price point in the £250 range, while Japanese retail sources quote figures in a similar range.

Deering stated that the system would diverge from Sony's traditional console business model by being sold at a price which would make a profit on hardware alone, and suggested a price "closer to £200 than £300."

This comment ties in with information from Japanese retail sources last this week, who told us that a price point around 50,000 Yen was being bandied about in Tokyo - in fact, the most exact figure we were given was 48,000 Yen, almost exactly £250.

Quoted in UK trade paper MCV, Deering said that "the feeling is that this product should generate profit on hardware alone. We want to make it affordable for publishers to produce a wide range of entertainment and so royalties will be lower down in the mix this time round."

A move to reduce royalties on the system would be a major boost to third party support for the PSP, especially since for many publishers, the last experience they had of handheld gaming was Nintendo's GBA - where high royalty and manufacturing costs mean that very few companies other than Nintendo itself make a profit from the system, despite the fact that Nintendo also makes a profit on hardware sales.

Last week, Deering stated that the company is aiming for a global launch for PSP in Novemberthis year, although this was quickly revised to mid-December by SCE vice president Masutsuka Saeki, who gave the new estimate in an interview with Famitsu.

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