According to Forbes:

Europe is typically the last major region to receive a newly launched videogame console, but today it was the first to receive word on pricing for the Sony PlayStation 3.

The high-end gaming machine will cost between 499 euros and 599 euros—that’s between $600 and $730—according to vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe George Fornay, who spilled the beans on the air while a guest at France’s Europe 1 radio station.

But U.S.-based gamers shouldn’t be in sticker shock over the high price the euros-to-dollars currency conversion suggests. After all, the Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ) Xbox 360 costs 399 euros abroad but only $400 here.

Sony (nyse: SNE – news – people ) officials did not immediately return calls regarding the launch price for the console, but analysts have speculated that the PS3 could cost $500 — $100 more than the Xbox 360 — due to the included high-definition BluRay disc player. A $500 PS3 would be the most expensive next-generation console on the market. Nintendo’s Revolution, expected to launch in 2006, will likely cost under $300.

And even priced at $500, Sony could take a loss of up to $200 on each PS3 sold. (See ” Sony’s Hit Machine”). The company would attempt to make up the loss with game sales.

Fornay confirmed on air that Sony would simultaneously launch the PS3 in North America, Europe, and Asia , thus moving up the expected European launch date from as late as March 2007 to November 2006.

These comments from Fornay represent the first bits of PS3 pricing information from Sony since Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi told gamers the console would “be expensive,” at the E3 convention in Los Angeles in May 2005.

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