Sony CEO dismisses price cut chatter on PlayStation

Tue Jul 7, 2009 10:09pm EDT

Visitors look at Sony Corp's products at its headquarters in Tokyo June 19, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Visitors look at Sony Corp's products at its headquarters in Tokyo June 19, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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SUN VALLEY, Idaho, July 7 - Sony Corp Chief Executive Howard Stringer brushed off concerns that the PlayStation 3 video game console is too expensive, and said the company is unlikely to sell parts of its business amid the recession.

Stringer, arriving at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Tuesday, described recent comments about PlayStation's price by Robert Kotick, the CEO of video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc, as standard business tactics.

"He likes to make a lot of noise," Stringer said, when asked about the comments. "He's putting pressure on me and I'm putting pressure on him. That's the nature of business."

Last month, Kotick told the Times of London that Activision might cease developing games for the PlayStation if Sony did not cut the price of the console, which competes with Microsoft Corp's Xbox and Nintendo Co Ltd's Wii.

"When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console," Kotick had said.

Asked about the logic of not cutting prices, Stringer said, "I (would) lose money on every PlayStation I make -- how's that for logic."

Stringer and Kotick are among the couple of hundred tech and media executives convening in Sun Valley this week for the annual confab.

Asked about consolidation in the entertainment industry, Stringer said Sony was not looking to get rid of any assets.

"We're learning to fuse content and hardware. This wouldn't be a time to get rid of either," he said.

Stringer said he will be participating in a panel about the recession at the conference.

"I see green shoots but it's a very light shade of green," he said.

While the executive said that the economic situation in most of Asia is looking good and that he sees a bottom in China, it was still too soon to call a bottom to the recession overall.

"It's very hard to tell whether this is just a minor trough on the way to recovery or a trough on the way to a trough," said Stringer.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, editing by Tiffany Wu, Gary Hill)

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