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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
No PlayStation price cuts ahead
By Alfred Hermida
Technology editor, BBC News website

Redesigned PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 had a makeover last year
Sony is not planning to drop the price of its PlayStation 2 in the coming months in order to compete with Microsoft's new console, the Xbox 360.

The head of Sony Computer Entertainment in the UK, Ray Maguire, told the BBC News website there would no price cut before Christmas.

Sony is hoping to buoy up sales by offering different types of PS2 games.

The Xbox 360 is due to go on sale in November, while Sony's next generation console is due out early next year.

Veteran console

The PS2 was the first of the current generation of consoles to hit the shops. It was first released in Japan in March 2000 and in November of the same year in the UK.

PlayStation 2
Sony has sold more than 7.5 million PS2s in the UK
The console initially sold for 300. But the cost has progressively fallen as Sony battled with Microsoft and Nintendo to dominate the console gaming market.

Sony has historically chosen late August or early September to announced pre-Christmas price cuts.

The last one was in August a year ago, when the retail price fell to 100. The console was redesigned around the same time to make it smaller and thinner.

Sony's strategy worked, with many seeking out a PS2 for Christmas, though many shops were hit by stock shortages.

Narrow margin

In an interview with the BBC News website, Mr Maguire dashed hopes that history would repeat itself.

70% of the UK does not have a PlayStation 2
Ray Maguire, Sony Computer Entertainment UK
He said Sony was aiming to lower the cost of making the PS2. But he explained that with a retail price of 100, there was little room for manoeuvre.

"We want to re-engineer the console and drive costs down," said Mr Maguire, but he added there was little room for efficiencies in the components of the console.

When pressed on when the price might fall, he insisted it would not happen before Christmas.

Even though there were PS2s in 7.5 million homes in the UK, Mr Maguire said there was still room to grow.

"70% of the UK does not have a PlayStation 2," he said.

Sony's tactic to lure people who do not think of themselves as gamers is to focus on innovative games such as the music quiz game Buzz and the exercise title Kinetic.

The Japanese games giant is also counting on its new handheld console, the PlayStation Portable, to make a splash when it is released in the UK on 1 September.

This Christmas will see the release of the first of the new wave of game consoles, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 due out in November.

The PlayStation 3 is due out in the first half of next year, with Nintendo's Revolution some time later.

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30 Aug 03 |  Technology
Playstation 2 is 'console champion'
30 Oct 02 |  Technology

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