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Sony cuts PS3 price, readies PlayStation TV

The 160GB PS3's price has been cut to sub-£200, and Sony says its clever dual-3D TV will launch in the autumn.

Sony has slashed the price of its PS3, bringing a welcome new sub-£200 affordability to the slowly ageing console. The company has also put a price on its slightly hideous impressive PlayStation TV, bringing the UK release date forward from 31 December.

Okay, so it's only a 24-inch display, but there's a good reason to be excited. The idea is you can sit down with a mate to play multiplayer, but at such an angle that you both see an individual image. Let's be clear -- that's two individual fullscreen feeds, so no more letterbox multiplayer when people visit. Oh, and it's all in 3D. Nice!

It's a shame it looks like a giant PSP, but it's a relatively affordable £499, and it even throws in a free game (although not a free PS3). If more than two people could use it at once, you could throw a big sexy party when you buy it.

There isn't a specific launch date, but according to the Register it'll be out this autumn.

With the 160GB PS3 listed at £199.99, Christmas shoppers will be drawn to the nearly 5-year-old console like wasps to Orangina. Plus retailers will probably cut the price to something closer to £180 to compete with each other. Couple that with the PlayStation TV and a slew of blockbuster titles, and it looks like Sony could be popping corks by Christmas.

Speaking to MCV, HMV's head of games Tim Ellis agrees: "It is great news and it will give a substantial sales boost to the whole sector. Clearly the £200 price point not only makes them more competitive versus Xbox, but also psychologically for the consumer it makes PS3 much more attractive being under £200."

But beyond the obvious rush to come out on top in the Christmas console wars, what else might be behind the price cut? Some are taking it as a hint that a PS4 announcement is around the corner, if the corner were a big fat year or two. Still, the current generation of consoles are starting to saddle up for the ride into the sunset, so it's a good time to start thinking about the future.