With the Playstation 3 set to debut in Europe on March 23, Sony is already attempting to lower production costs in anticipation of the launch. Sony announced on Friday that the company would be removing a microchip from European-bound PS3 units that will help to cut some of the heavy costs associated with PS3 production. The chip, which enables the console to process PS2 graphics and data, will be replaced with another chip that still processes the data for PS2 games, but will reduce the number of PS2 games able to be played on the PS3. The announcement caused shares in Sony Corp. to rise three percent.
It is unclear if the cost-cutting move with be applied to Japanese and North American PS3 units yet. Could this lead to lowered prices on PS3s in European countries? With Sony’s prediction that the company’s game operation will exceed losses of over 200 billion yen, don’t bet on it.