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Talking to financial website CNN Money, Sony's Kaz Hirai has defended the $499 and $599 dual price point for Sony's PlayStation 3 launch, describing the pricing as "a good value for consumers".

Hirai, who is president and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America, continued, countering negative buzz that immediately followed the PS3 pricing announcement: "I think when you look at what we put into the box – Cell, Blu-Ray, backwards compatibility, the ability to go online - I think it's a very compelling package."

Elsewhere in the interview, Hirai pronounced himself confident that Sony would be able to meet the launch numbers it has announced of 2 million PS3s available at November 2006 launch, and 4 million by the end of the year. He gave a not so subtle dig to Microsoft's launch chip yield issues by commenting: "Most of the PlayStation 3's core components are manufactured in-house. The decision to give the go order comes when we're getting good yields... we're not at the mercy of someone else."

Finally, the SCEA CEO addressed the differences between the two PlayStation 3 models, something not explicitly spelled out during Sony's pre-E3 press conference, but later revealed in specification sheets.

He particularly commented of the lack of Memory Stick reader, Wi-Fi card and HDMI output on the lower-priced model: "We felt that if you want to save something on your Memory Stick, most people have those readers on their PC, which is easily adaptable to the PlayStation 3 with a USB cord," said Hirai. "The only difference is HDMI – and at this point, I don't think many people's TV's have that."

Thank you to Gamasutra for the news.

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