PlayStation 3 hits Europe on 23 March

PS3 European launch date confirmed but pricing is painful

The news European and Australian gamers have been waiting for has finally been confirmed - Sony will launch the PlayStation 3 in those territories on 23 March.

While it's bound to be a relief for anyone who has been waiting for a PS3 and enviously eyeing Asian and North-American game fans over the last ten weeks or so, the UK price is going to hit hard. Sony says the 60GB console will cost £425 in the UK, making it the most expensive country in which to pick up the games machine.

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Converting the various regional prices to sterling is quite an eye opener:

Japan: £250
US: £304
Europe: £394
Australia: £397
New Zealand: £424
UK: £425

As if that weren't enough, Sony also revealed that the 20GB version of the PS3 will not be sold in countries that use the PAL television standard, citing a lack of customer demand for the cheaper model. Still, if the company comes good on its promise to provide one million PS3s to the new markets on 23 March, it's a fair bet that they'll be sold out within the day in spite of the price.