Sony has confirmed that the price of its PlayStation 3 games console will not be cut in Europe, despite an announced drop in the cost of machines sold in the US.
The electronics giant announced last week that it was dropping the price of its 60GB version of the PS3 by $100 (£50) in America and introducing a new 80GB model at the original price of $599 (£300).
But at a games conference in Santa Monica yesterday Sony revealed that European consumers would not be offered a similar price cut and would instead be offered free games and accessories when buying the PS3.
Gamers in Europe are to be sold a "starter pack" with two free games and two controllers, with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) insisting that the offer provides "exceptional value for money".
However the price of the pack will remain the same as that already charged for the PS3 in Europe, meaning that gamers in the UK will still have to pay £425 for the 60GB machine.
Sony also has no plans to introduce an 80GB version of the next-generation console in Europe.
Analysts say the company could face criticism over its decision not to introduce a newer PS3 model or to cut the price of the console for European gamers.
Defending the decision not to offer a price cut like Sony's US gaming arm, SCEE president David Reeves said: "Well, they're not really are they, because what the US are offering from August 1st is a $599 version with one game.
"All they're doing is taking their stock in trade that they've got at the moment of the 60GB model, marking the price down and it will all be gone by the end of July," he added, in an interview with website GamesIndustry.biz, at the E3 conference.
Sony, which says it has sold over 1.2 million PS3s in Europe to date, has been struggling to compete with strong sales of the cheaper Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360.