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Console Tidbits

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Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi met with the press in Tokyo and admitted that PSP shortages are still an issue. Said Kutaragi, "We have to somehow increase our production capacity, as we are not prepared to start selling in Europe. We've run out of units in the US, and it's still selling well in Japan."

According to a report by the Chinese-language Commercial Times, Sony has already signed a contract for the production of the PSP with Taiwan's largest electronics company, Hon Hai Precision Industry. The two companies have a long-standing relationship, as Hon Hai currently manufactures PlayStation 2 consoles for Sony. The Times said production by Hon Hai would start in the third quarter at the earliest.

Neither Hon Hai nor Sony has commented on the story.

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The dwindling fog around Microsoft's launch plans for the Xbox 360 dissipated further yesterday when the likely price of the Xbox 360 was revealed. Speaking to the financial news site TheStreet.com, Microsoft corporate vice president and chief XNA architect J Allard was asked if the Xbox 360 would launch with the same $299 price tag as the original. "It's going to be in the neighborhood [of $300]," he said, apparently dispelling fears of a $399 or even $499 machine, although $350--or even $360--could still be possible. However, Allard also stressed that any final decision on the 360's price was "about two months away."

Meanwhile, further north, the Canadian daily The Globe and Mail ran an article profiling Cimtek, a small company specializing in quality assurance testing at a Chinese electronics plants. Burlington, Ontario-based Cimtek recently landed a monster contract to help oversee production of the Xbox 360 in Guangdong Province, in the south of China.

PS3 Story and Xbox Story, both at Gamespot.

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