Sony Computer Entertainment Incorporated has revealed the details of the reduced backwards compatibility of the PAL region PlayStation 3 game console. Apparently, the "European version" of the console will have lower production costs due to a removed chip, which combines graphics processor and microprocessor used in the PlayStation 2. "They're using emulation software now to take the role of the hardware that was previously in the device. From a business perspective, it's a way to move ahead removing costs in some regards to manufacturing. If you follow some of the high costs in research and development and also manufacturing we've incurred over the last while, it's a demand from some shareholders," said SCE Australia spokesman Adrian Christie in an interview with The West Australian.
According to analysts, the EE+GS chip costs $27, whereas 32MB RDRAM is unlikely to cost more than $5. In other words, the PS3 sold in Japan and the U.S. is around $30 more expensive in terms of raw hardware costs. And yet, Sony is nailing Europeans with even higher prices. In PAL regions the consoles will retail for up to $240 more than in the U.S. and up to $345 higher compared to the recommended price (Â¥59 980 or $495) in Japan. Initially Sony will only sell the higher-end PlayStation 3 version of the console (60GB HDD), for €599 ($777) in the most of the markets and for pricing close to that in variety of countries: UK – Â£425 ($837), Ireland – €629 ($816), Australia – AUD 999.95 ($777), New Zealand – NZ 1199.95 ($840).
News source: Xbit Laboratories