Sony: No price cut on PSPs

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Looking to get a PlayStation Portable this holiday season? Don't expect a price drop on the system, Sony says. The company will be focusing on broadening its games offerings, nearly doubling its library by the end of the year, but the $199 and $249 SKUs aren't going to see price reductions.

 "We don't necessarily see the need to cut the price," said John Koller, a product manager at Sony Computer Entertainment. "We need to offer broader value and introduce new consumers to what the PSP can do."

 While the PSP's multimedia capabilities are certainly an important part of Sony's strategy, gaming is still critical. In fact, Koller noted that Sony aims to add another 110 PSP titles to the system's library by the end of 2006. That would bring the PSP games library to about 230 titles.

 Currently, Sony sells a barebones PSP package for $199, and the company also offers a new "Entertainment Pack" for $249 that includes a PSP, the game "ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails," the UMD movie "Lords of Dogtown," and a Sony 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo.

 Another part of Sony's strategy is connecting the PSP to its upcoming PlayStation 3 console. The details on this are scarce right now, but Koller said that Sony will soon explain how the PSP will integrate with the PS3.

 The PSP has sold about 5.5 million units since launching in the U.S. in 2005. While the Nintendo DS has seen better sales overall, Sony doesn't feel a direct comparison is valid since their system offers more functionality and appeals to a slightly different audience.

 "The parallel that we draw to the PSP is that it is exactly the same to portable gaming to what the PlayStation was to console gaming, that we are carving this new road out and we are selling again to 20-something consumers that were not fans of portable entertainment, were not playing Game Boys because the technology and the software offerings just weren't appealing to them," SCEA executive vp Jack Tretton told GameDaily BIZ in a recent interview.
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