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PS3 to cost £425 in the UK

A Blu-ray bargain, claims Sony executive

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Sony's 60GB PlayStation 3 will cost British buyers £425 ($803) when it ships on 17 November, the head of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's UK operation has revealed. He went on to call the machine "cheap" and a "bargain".

Interviewed by Eurogamer, SCE UK Managing Director Rat Maguire said: "I don't think it's an expensive machine - I think actually, it's probably a cheap machine. If you think a Blu-Ray player by itself might be £600-700, and we're coming in at just £425, it's a bargain."

Until now, Sony has given no indication of what UK PS3 pricing might be. It has quoted a European price of €599 for the 60GB model and €499 for the cut-down, gamer-oriented 20GB versiom of the console. The price quoted by Maguire is around £20 more than a straightforward Euro-to-Sterling conversion, but that's not uncommon for Sony's UK prices.

Maguire admitted the 60GB PS3's price was not "mass market", and again stressed the machine would nonetheless be the cheapest way to buy into Blu-ray. It's clear from Maguire's comments that Sony sees the 60GB PS3 more as a cut-price AV system for early HD adopters. Other Sony executives have hinted as much in the recent past.

In other words, gamers looking for the successor to the PS2 will opt for the lower, more Xbox 360-like spec, while the 60GB machine will be pitched at a different class of buyer - the AV consumer. It's an interesting strategy: using the low-end PS3 to sell Blu-ray - and Blu-ray to sell the high-end PS3. The fate of the next-generation optical disc format and of Sony's next-generation games console have always been known to be closely link, but until now it's not been clear how tightly bound the two are. ®

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