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PS3 will be $299 in April, analysts say

Could the days of the $400 Playstation 3 be numbered?

So says financial analyst Michael Pachter, who predicted this week that Sony will trim the price of its cheapest Playstation 3 pack to a “more affordable” $299 in April, and that an Xbox 360 price cut will follow by June.

And the Wii? Don’t hold your breath. “We expect Nintendo to maintain Wii pricing at $249 until the company sees signs that demand is slowing, which means a price cut may not happen until late in the year, if at all,” Pachter said.

Like any analyst, Pachter, who is employed by securities firm Wedbush-Morgan, isn’t always right, but he boasts a healthy hit rate at anticipating similar moves in the past, notably predicting PS3 and Xbox 360 price cuts in 2007. Don’t expect official confirmation from either Microsoft or Sony, though: telling your customers about price cuts four months in advance tends not to be a very common strategy.

Ailing Sony, which is tipped to be about to post its first annual loss for 14 years, could well expect a significant sales boost if Pachter’s prediction pans out. The Playstation 3 is heading into 2009 with a bumper lineup of upcoming exclusive games, including Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, God of War 3, and superhero-themed DC Universe Online, and a lower price point could well lend the console much-needed momentum.

By Mike Smith

Jan 14, 2009