Sony says that despite a report that a weak Pound will force it to raise prices in the U.K., the cost of the PlayStation 3 will not be affected.
The electronics giant has been hit hard by the ongoing economic downturn, reporting a 72 percent drop in profits for the second quarter of 2008, according to a Telegraph report. Profits have been affected by both slowing sales and the strength of the Japanese Yen, which has gained considerable ground on the British Pound over the past six months.
"Sony U.K. can confirm that in the past 48 hours it has communicated to its trade channel that due to adverse changes in the Yen/Euro and Euro/Pound exchange rate over the last six months, and with this uncertainty set to continue into 2009, Sony will increase the trade price of a number of products over the coming months," the company said in a statement issued in late November. "The precise level of price increases has not yet been agreed, but it is likely that the vast majority of products affected will see increases of significantly less than 33 per cent."
The increased cost to retailers will not necessarily mean higher costs for consumers, however, as stores continue with efforts to attract customers despite the gloomy economic forecast. A representative of the British Retail Consortium said he expected sellers to squeeze profit margins even tighter and look for cost-cutting measures elsewhere, rather than pass on the higher costs to customers and risk losing them entirely.
But in a spot of good news for gamers, Sony confirmed today with play.tm that the decision "would not translate into a price rise for the PS3." Not a terribly surprising choice, really; Sony isn't making any money on the systems anyway, and with Microsoft appearing to be making gains in the console wars, the last thing the company needs to do is even hint at the possibility of higher prices.