Exec's comments shake Tokyo Stock Market

TOKYO — A comment by a Sony senior exec that the company may further slash prices on the PlayStation 3 sent a shudder through the Tokyo Stock Market Thursday.

Sony senior veep Takao Yuhara told reporters Wednesday that losses at the Sony game division could be larger than the current ¥200 billion ($1.65 billion) forecast through the end of the current fiscal year in March.

The comments caused the Sony share price to drop 2.8% in Thursday morning trading. By the end of the trading day, however, the share price had recovered, moving from $46.14 at the beginning of trading to $46.89. The share price, however is still below the high for the year, $48.30, set Jan. 26.

The hit to PS3 profits in Japan came from a 20% price cut announced before the console’s November release. The object, Yuhara said, was to ensure the product’s successful launch, especially in the wake of lower-priced competition from Nintendo and Microsoft.

Although he said no firm decision had yet been made on cuts, Yuhara said Sony might consider further cuts as part of its market expansion strategy, “when the timing is right.”

The ideal scenario, he said, would be one in which strong demand makes cuts a good strategic move.

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