The cost of manufacturing a PS3 is currently around ten per cent higher than the system's retail price.
That was the claim made by Sony's CFO Nobuyuki Oneda, who – according to news site Andriasang – compared manufacturing to retail costs during the company's earnings report last week.
Analysts have in recent months claimed that the PS3's manufacturing costs were now edging towards the system's retail price tag as components become cheaper to obtain.
It remains unclear however as to which retail price Oneda was referring to. A PS3 typically retails for 299 in the UK, while it costs around 260 in North America and can be found in Japan below the 200 mark. A ten percent increase above the system's price could therefore pin manufacturing costs to anything between 220 and 330.
Yet a price cut may still be far off for the system. Analysts have so far been reluctant in adding that manufacturing costs are only a single part in the entire investment needed in taking a console to the retailers.
Beyond manufacturing costs – if they indeed include staff pay, overheads and not just components – Sony has to pay for stocking, shipping, advertising and exporting the system across its international channels.
Exporting may be a huge factor in the final cost of bringing a PS3 to retail. Nintendo very recently raised the trade price of the Wii by 19 due to the recent and severe depreciation of the Pound.
Sony's strategy in recent months has been to offer value by bundling sought-after software – from LittleBigPlanet to Killzone 2 – with consoles at no additional charge.