TOKYO--Following Ken Kutaragi's keynote address at the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced that the 20GB-hard-drive-equipped model of the PlayStation 3 was getting a price drop in Japan. The lower-end version of the console, which will now boast HDMI high-definition video output, will cost just 49,980 yen ($429) when it hits stores in Japan on November 11. That's about 10,000 yen ($85) less than its prior price, which was around 60,000 yen ($515).
Although Sony's announcement applied only to Japan, news of the discounting spread quickly across the globe. Wire service reports with headlines saying "Sony slashes price tag for delay-hit PlayStation 3" surfaced in numerous local newspapers in the US. These, in turn, fueled a rumor firestorm that the 20GB PS3's $499 US sticker price would also be cut before it goes on sale November 17.
Sadly, though, Sony is sticking firm with its North American PS3 plans. "In the US, we're comfortable with the pricing that we announced at E3--$499 for the 20 gigabyte version and $599 for the 60-gigabyte version," Sony Computer president Kaz Hirai told GameSpot. "There are no plans right now to adjust the pricing for the US market."
Though disappointed, potential PS3 purchasers in the US did get a bit of a consolation prize from Hirai. The executive confirmed that every 20GB PS3 worldwide will have an HDMI port, not just in Japan, as some had speculated.