The Playstation 3 console and later the PSP portable console were both huge expenses in terms of research and development for Sony. The result were consoles that had high end technology and proprietary parts which also came with high prices when the consoles launched. That apparently won't be the case for Sony's next major game console release, the portable device known officially only by its code name, the NGP (Next Generation Portable).
In an article at the Wall Street Journal web site, Sony's chief financial officer Masaru Kato stated in an interview that the company was taking steps to keeps costs down for making the NGP. While Kato didn't say specifically what the company was planning, the article speculates that Sony could do several things to make the NGP cheaper to produce. That might include using third party chip foundries instead of Sony creating its own semiconductor plant. It might also use third party manufacturers or use already created parts instead of making parts from scratch.
Sony needs to find some way of making the NGP cheaper to produce. Its Playstation unit had to take losses in the first four years of the Playstation 3's lifespan due in part to the large upfront cost to create the console. There's also the fact that the NGP, due to launch late in 2011, is not the only new portable game console in town. Nintendo has just launched the 3DS console with glasses-free 3D gaming. Also smartphones and tablets are increasing their graphics and gaming capabilities every few months.