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The decision by Sony to cut the price of the PS3 in Japan a market where Sony dominates has analysts worried.

They claim that this time round the PS3 is just not going to make it up against the XBox 360 and the new Nintendo Wii. Another problem for Sony is that fans who have played with the PS3 at last weeks Tokyo games show are also far from impressed. They claim that for price Sony is asking it is lacking any “Wow” factor and is a bit of a “fizzer” .

The announcement that the 20GB version of the PlayStation 3 would be getting a price drop in Japan has been welcomed by fans, although it seems that analysts are less than impressed with the decision. Just after some Japanese analysts have had their say, UBS Securities’ Mike Wallace has put his two cents in.

Wallace believes that Sony dropped the price of the unit “in response to consumer complaints about the console’s price” and has said that it is “a questionable business decision and a sign of weakness”.

Although Wallace has strong opinions on the decision, he believes that it is a useless one. In the same memo where he criticized the price drop, Wallace wrote, “this price cut is only on the 20GB version of the PS3 in Japan, which in our view is not significant given that the US is the key market for the PS3.” He also pointed out that even with a cheaper price tag, the console is more expensive that the Xbox 360 and the Wii.

The pricing strategy of the PlayStation 3 consloe has been hotly debated, and although it is the most expensive next-gen console yet, Sony hopes that consumers will see a bargain in features such as a Blu-ray player and HDMI.

The PlayStation 3 is set to launch on November 11th in Japan, November 17th and as late as April/May 2007 in Australia. At last weeks Tokyo games show what the PS3 actually delivered was a dazzling array of graphics. The dozen games on show have reached such sophistication that eyelashes, blades of grass and droplets of water can be animated individually.

But fans and analysts were united in the view that the PS3, despite the superiority of its technology, has failed to demonstrate its “wow” factor.

It will be an expensive, complicated machine, and must make early gains. Australia will not get any PS3s until Apeil and the cost is a whopping $995.00.

Fans criticised a lack of innovation. The controller was almost exactly the same as the one that came with the original PlayStation and PS2.

It also relies heavily on recycled hits. The games set to be released with the machine bear tell-tale “more of the same” titles such as Everybody’s Golf 5, Virtual Fighter 5 and Ridge Racer 7.

As a result, industry observers have tipped Nintendo as the likely victor in the console war.

Its new machine, the Wii, features a revolutionary motion-sensitive controller. It will cost $350.00 in Australia.

The new sword-fighting game Bleach, where players swish the controller around the room and their actions are mimicked by armour-clad knights on the screen, may convert newcomers to Wii.

Other titles being tipped by include Bladestorm, based on the 100 Years’ War; Coded Arms Assault, a futuristic shooting game set in Tokyo; Elebits, a bizarre game where players control a swarm of tiny egg-shaped creatures with bolts of electricity as they attempt to tidy the room; and Dead Rising, an unremittingly gory title for the Xbox 360.

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