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Sony has announced a $100 price cut effective Monday, to the 60GB model of its PlayStation 3 console for sale in North America (US$499, C$549). This comes despite President Ryoji Chubachi denying rumors of such a move on Friday. Sony also announced a new 80GB model available from August in N. America for $599/C$659. Sony-SNE-MSFT-Nintendo7974-chart-07-06-07 The $499 60GB PS3 is now priced more competitively against Microsoft's high-end Xbox 360 Elite at $480. The low-end Xbox 360 costs $299 and Nintendo's Wii costs $249. The Wii has consistently outsold the PS3 in Japan with the latest estimates showing a 6-1 margin. Year-to-date through May in the U.S., Microsoft has sold twice as many Xbox 360s (5.6m) than Wiis and quadruple the number of PS3s, according to NPD Group. Sony is aiming to double its sales of the 60GB version. Shares of Sony fell 0.15% to ¥6,530 ($52.91) Monday in Tokyo. Its ADRs rose 1.5% to $53.14 Friday. Nintendo gained 1.3% to ¥49,800 ($50.45 ADR equiv), a new all-time high.

Sources: Press release [pdf], Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Sony Denies Rumors It Will Cut PS3 PricesWii Extends Lead Over PS3Goldman Keeps 'Buy' Rating on Sony, Raises Target
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Sony Corp. (SNE) (JP: 6758). Competitors: Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Nintendo Co. Ltd. (OTCPK:NTDOY) (JP: 7974). Gaming software publishers: Electronic Arts (ERTS), Activision (ATVI), Konami (KNM), Take Two (TTWO), THQ (THQI). ETFs: BLDRS Asia 50 ADR Index (ADRA), iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ)
Earnings call transcripts: Sony F4Q06, Microsoft F3Q07

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Source: Sony Cuts PS3 Price by $100, Announces 80GB Version