Sony drops PSP price…in Japan

PlayStation Portable receives price-slash in Japan - no word on Western territories

With Sony's sleeker, smaller, slide-screen-tastic PSP Go poised to pounce, the company's seen fit to drop the price of its existing PSP-3000 by ¥3,000, but only if you live in Japan. For the rest of us? Sony's keeping mum for the moment on its other territories.

Before impatient U.S. gamers flame Sony in ASCII effigy, they'll want to note the Japanese were already paying ¥19,800, or about $220 USD for the system. The cut eases that down to ¥16,800, or about $185 USD, a 15 percent decrease that's still technically $15 more than we pay: $170 for the current '3000' model PSP, which comes with Sony's UMD drive angling off the back of the handheld's rigid-body frame. Currency value factors here, of course, making any sort of direct price conversion/comparison dicey.

Let's try proportions then. Drop the U.S. PSP 3000's price by 15 points and you land around $145. Except that's still not quite right, since Sony's pre-Go price drop in Japan seems aimed at upsetting Nintendo.

In Japan, the Nintendo DSi sells for ¥18,900, or about $210 USD. The new Japanese PSP pricing makes it roughly 12 percent cheaper than Nintendo's handheld. The DSi sells for $170 in the U.S., so assuming a correlative 12-points, the PSP would only drop to $150 (or in annoying sales-speak, $149.99).

Whither Sony's PSP Go? You'll pay $250 for the same system in a teenier package minus the UMD drive plus a dash of internal storage (16GB). If the U.S. PSP 3000 follows Japan's lead -- it'll only make having to pay 250 bones -- five-sixths the cost of a brand new $300 slim-sized PS3 -- that much tougher to swallow.

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Matt Peckham

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