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To break even, Sony may cut PlayStation 3 price

TOKYO -- Although Sony is blaming its faltering profits partly on PlayStation 3 price cuts in Japan, a senior executive said yesterday that slashing prices further may be in store for the just-launched video game machine.

Pricing is one of the factors Sony Corp. is studying; it expects to break even in its money-losing gaming business next fiscal year, said senior vice president Takao Yuhara, stressing that no additional price cut has been decided on.

The PS3 was launched in the United States and Japan in November, plagued with production problems that resulted in shortages and will keep the machines out of Europe entirely until March.

The next-generation game player also faces immense competition from Nintendo Co.'s Wii and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360.

Sony's disclosure Tuesday that October-December profit slipped 5 percent to $1.3 billion sent Sony shares down 1.4 percent in Tokyo yesterday . The shares closed at $46.33, up three cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Yuhara said red ink in the gaming division for the fiscal year through March could be worse than the $1.6 billion operating loss that Sony is forecasting.

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