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The head of Sony Computer Entertainment America – Jack Tretton – said that the price of the PlayStation 3 game console will not be reduced significantly within one and a half year after the launch. The information may end-users who were looking forward to get a more or less affordable PlayStation 3 game console.

“No,” Jack Tretton, chief executive of SCEA is reported to have said in an interview with Game Informer Magazine, when asked “whether price drops for the PS3 will be “as soon or as drastic as they were for the PlayStation 2”, reports Joystiq web-site.

Sony PlayStation 2 game console, the best-selling gaming machine currently, faced price reduction from $299 to $199 in about 565 days, or 1.5 years, after the initial launch in the United States, the media reminds. Using this data and Tretton’s above answer, we can expect that the PS3 will no come down in price until at least June 4, 2008, Joystiq claims. On the other hand, the answer of Mr. Tretton might indicate that the company either has no plans for price reduction, or plans a slighter reduction in a different timeframe.

But reluctance to announce a price reduction is not a surprise, as Sony sells its PS3 machine as a loss now: the premium PlayStation 3 already costs Sony $840 to build. The surprise is, nevertheless, that the company has no short-term plans for the more affordable PS3s.

Mr. Tretton is claimed to have indicated that increased investment into the research and development (R&D) and hardware makes the system “a lot more difficult to cost reduce" than the PS2.

“There's a heck of a lot more under the hood and it costs us more money to make it. I think the consumers that get their hands on a PlayStation 3 clearly see the value and not only want to buy one for $599, in some instances they’re willing to pay ridiculous prices to buy one on eBay,” Mr. Tretton is reported to have said.

Sony PlayStation 3 console is based on the Cell processor developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba, the RSX graphics chip by Nvidia Corp. and will be equipped with Blu-ray optical disk drive. There are two versions of the PlayStation console available: one is equipped with 20GB hard disk drive and priced at $499, another features 60GB hard drive, card reader and some other improvements and is offered for $599.

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