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Kotick: Activision Could Withdraw PS3 Support Without A Price Cut

Activision chairman Bobby Kotick criticizes the PS3's price as a barrier to userbase growth -- and citing "expensive" development costs and royalties, suggests that Activision could withdraw software support for the console by 2011 without price cuts. [
Activision chairman Bobby Kotick has never been shy about urging hardware price cuts to drive console userbases. Now, however, he's taking it a step further by directly targeting Sony -- and implying that his company would consider withdrawing software support for the platform without a price cut for the $399 PlayStation 3. "I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform," Kotick told the UK Times Online, adding that the return on investment is "better" on the Wii and Xbox 360. He cited high development costs on the PS3, adding that Activision has paid Sony $500 million in royalties to boot. "They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates [the number of games each console owner buys] are likely to slow," said Kotick. "If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony." Kotick told the Times he's looking at 2010 and 2011 for Sony, whose games business lost $597 million last year, to get its pricing in line with the rest of the market, even if it means risking further losses. "When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console," he said -- and also included the PSP as an area to re-examine. Software penetration has lagged somewhat on Sony's PSP, and analysts have already criticized the $249 price point for the PSP Go!, the download-only hardware revamp that launches later this year. Gamasutra has reached out to both Activision and Sony for further comment on this story and will update with any we receive. [UPDATE: Sony Computer Entertainment America senior director of corporate communications and social media Patrick Seybold responded to Kotick's comments in an email to Gamasutra, saying, "PlayStation has tremendous momentum coming out of E3, and we are seeing positive growth with more than 350 titles slated to hit across all our platforms, including many anticipated games from our publishing partners." "We enjoy healthy business relationships with and greatly value our publishing partners and are working closely with them to deliver the best entertainment experience."]

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