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THQ, Electronic Arts Execs Reflect On Rumored PS3 Price Cut

With the recent speculation surrounding a potential PlayStation 3 price cut announcement, THQ CEO Brian Farrell and Electronic Arts COO John Pleasants have weighed in -- and both expect Sony to make an adjustment sooner rather than later.
Rumors and speculation surrounding a potential PlayStation 3 price cut announcement have been swirling in recent days, and during a recent technology conference, executives from publishers THQ and Electronic Arts have weighed in. This week, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey said he believes a price adjustment could come out of Sony's just-held retailer meeting and take effect by April, but so far the manufacturer has stayed quiet. But that hasn't kept third parties from tossing out their own thoughts during the Goldman Sachs Internet and Technology Conference in San Francisco. THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell spoke positively about Sony's showing at its retailer conference, but suggested that the price of the company's console is becoming increasingly out of step with the surrounding economic and competitive factors. "I think [Sony is] aware that, particularly in this environment and based on where their competitors are, they're going to have to move price at some point," he said. "It's just a question of when." Electronic Arts COO John Pleasants, on the other hand, noted that while he would not surprised to see "some things happen this year" with respect to price cuts, he thinks the current nature of console platforms gives Sony some breathing room. "It feels like we're about halfway through the cycle, and it's important to think about that as it relates to pricing," he noted. "Therefore, I think it's going to be an extended cycle." The COO pointed to the continued growth of online business such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, as well as the success of peripheral sales, as mitigating factors that introduce additional revenue streams and lessen the need for solely more unit sales. "I think you're going to see a lot more innovation on these platforms over the course of the next two or three years, which means the need to drop price is probably delayed," said Pleasants. He extended that idea further, speculating that the nature of the next console generation changeover might be more gradual and evolutionary, explaining, "I think this idea of this Great Wall that comes down, and everything just moves, probably isn't going to happen anymore."

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