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CNET plays the PS3 (component pricing game)

CNET decides to try their hand at guessing just how much the PS3 is gonna cost to manufacture. Last week Merrill Lynch made a boo-boo with their math--they meant $800, not $900--ultimately undermining the credibility of their results. While the accuracy of guessing what prices a huge manufacturer like Sony will pay for individual components isn't likely to improve, another report arriving at roughly the same number helps elucidate Sony's challenge.

CNET found that every component, save the processor and disc drive, will cost about the same for both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. At ten to fifteen times the cost of Microsoft's 12x DVD drive, the PS3's Blu-ray drive is especially pricey so, regardless of the accuracy of the numbers, it's clear that Sony will be paying more per console than Microsoft. Will the PS3's Blu-ray drive be an albatross around Sony's neck or the crucial distinction between the platforms?

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