Foster City, Calif. — Sony Computer Entertainment officially slashed the opening price of its PlayStation3 multimedia gaming console, from $499 to $399, also setting a new low price for Blu-ray Disc players in the process.
The price will be applied to a new 40GB version of the console that ships later this month. At the same time, the company also reduced the price by $100 for the 80GB version to $499 in North America, effective immediately.
The price moves follow similar actions taken earlier in Japan and Europe.
The PlayStation3 remains the largest-selling high-defenition disc player, having topped sales of 1.75 million units since its launch last November, but it ranks third in a three-player next-generation video game console race behind the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360.
The price step is aimed at delivering a more competitive high-definition disc player to compete with opening price point HD DVD players, which are offered below $300. It will also present a more competitive gaming console option for holiday gift purchases. The Xbox 360 sells for $349 while the Wii is priced at $249.
The new version of the 40GB PlayStation3 will come bundled with a Blu-ray Disc version of “Spider-Man 3.”