Sony slims PS 3 videogame console and trims prices

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 18, 2009 at 5:31 PM EST

Sony on Tuesday unveiled a long-rumored slim version of its PlayStation 3 videogame console and cut prices on existing models that have been struggling for momentum in the marketplace.

A PlayStation 3 console with "an extremely streamlined form factor" and a 120 gigabyte hard drive will be released in September, according to the Japanese electronics giant.

The consoles will be priced at 299 dollars in the United States, 299 Euros in Europe, and 29,980 yen in Japan.

Sony lopped 100 dollars off the prices of PS3 consoles currently on the market to 299 dollars for models with 80 gigabyte hard drives and 399 dollars for those with 160 gigabyte hard drives.

"By launching a vast library of exciting and attractive software titles for PS3 this holiday season and offering customers a line-up of hardware models and pricing to match their preference, SCE will build on the momentum and accelerate the expansion of the PS3 platform," Sony said in a release.

The slim PS3 is about two-thirds the size of existing models but has all the features of previous models, including Blu-ray high-definition disk players, according to Sony.

Since their launch with much fanfare in 2006, PS3 models have boasted power and rich graphics, but at premium prices when compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's innovative Wii consoles.

Sony has since found the console wars to be bruising but is banking on its refreshed, lower-priced PS3 line and the release of blockbuster videogame titles to improve its fortunes in the crucial year-end holiday shopping season.

Sony Corp. reported a net loss of 37.1 billion yen (390 million dollars) for the fiscal first quarter through June, blaming the global economic downturn.

The maker of Bravia televisions, PlayStation game consoles and Cyber-shot cameras maintained its forecast for its first back-to-back annual losses since it was listed on the stock market in 1958.

Sony, which announced in March its first annual loss in 14 years, expects to end the current business year 120 billion yen in the red.




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