PS3 "probably too cheap", says Kutaragi

SCEI president Ken Kutaragi dismisses talk of "over-priced" hardware

PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi has answered critics of Sony's next-gen pricing policy by claiming that the PS3 is "probably too cheap".

Dropping this golden nugget in an interview with Japanese website IT Media (coming to us via IGN translation), Kutaragi said that it's no different to the way it was with previous PlayStation generations.

"With Nintendo's 16-bit machine selling for about 12,000 yen (85 euros) at the time, the media criticised us for priciness - but it became an explosive hit. The same for PlayStation2," Kutaragi has reportedly elaborated while similarly recalling the launch of the original PlayStation and PS2 in a second interview - conducted with Japanese business journal Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

"...both had sales that were unthinkable for previous game machines. This is because both offered experiences that could not be had on previous machines," he told IT Media.

Kutaragi went on to reveal to Nihon Keizai Shimbun that "price setting is always a headache for us. No game machines are comparable to the PS3, which is neither a genuine game console, home electronics [product] nor a personal computer. It's a new kind of product."

And Keen to stress PS3's broad functionality, he told IT Media: "...we don't want you to think of it [the price] in terms of games machines... if you can have an amazing experience, we believe price is not a problem.... We believe people who like games will, without question, purchase it."

But ultimately, the debate will be settled by the end user. Kutaragi stated during Nihon Keizai Shimbun's interview that it will be "consumers who decide whether it's expensive or cheap. If a product offers charm, then buyers will be convinced",.

The 20GB PS3 will retail in Europe for 499 euros (roughly 341 GBP), with the full-spec 60GB model priced at 599 euros (roughly 408 GBP).