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PlayStation 3 UK Price Revealed

In an interview with Eurogamer TV, Sony Computer Entertainment UK's Ray Maguire has revealed that the Recommended Retail Price of the higher-end PlayStation 3 will be £425, when it hits shelves this November 17th.

Sony has confirmed that this unit will ship with a 2X Blu-ray drive, an Ethernet port, Bluetooth 2.0, four USB ports, a 60GB hard drive and an HDMI port as standard. Resolutions supported will include 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p.

Previous speculation had placed the price at about £405, after Sony announced a price of 499 Euros for the unit with a 20GB HDD and 599 for the unit with a 60GB HDD for Europe.

This price, although £201 more than the Core version and £140 more than the Premium version of the PlayStation 3's main competitor, the Xbox 360, does not come as a shock to most; especially after PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi said that "it will be expensive" last year.

Maguire has justified this sum through Sony's decision to choose Blu-ray as the disc format for the PlayStation 3, saying that he considers the console "a bargain" before stating that "a Blu-Ray player by itself might be £600 to £700".

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, Blu-ray, one of the storage medias competing for the high-def video market, can hold up to 25GB on single layered and 50GB on dual layered discs.

However, he did admit that the current price of £425 was not a "mass-market price" and that Sony will face challenges in getting consumers to see the PlayStation 3's true value. "The point is that most people don't realise what they're actually getting with [the] PlayStation 3," he said.

Although the Xbox 360 comes with a lower price tag, it currently does not support any high-def movie format, with games shipping on 4.7GB single layered or 8.5GB dual layered DVDs. An external HD-DVD drive meant for movie playback is in the works, though it is yet unconfirmed if the drive will support HDMI. The current speculated price of this add-on is between USD149 to USD199.

During the interview, Maguire did not disclose any pricing plans for the lower end PlayStation 3 SKU which includes a 20GB hard drive and supports high-def content through component cables instead of HDMI. This fuels earlier speculation that Sony may only be releasing the 60GB version in the UK.