Defending the high price for Sony's latest games console UK Sony boss Ray Maguire has said that the UK will be getting just 220,000 60GB consoles for launch on 23 March out of a possible 1 million shipping to Europe.

In an interview with games journalist Steve Boxer for Spong and the Guardian, Sony Computer Entertainment's UK managing director, Ray Maguire said:

"My overall number is a bit lower than it would be if I had a less well-established product. So we’re round about the 22 per cent mark which, if you divided that into the million would give you 220,000 units.”

As for the high cost? VAT and exchange rates are to blame according to Sony.

In the interview, Maguire argues that merely comparing RRPs is too simplistic an approach, due to exchange rate considerations: "When businesses trade, they hedge. It depends what currency you're buying against. We don't buy anything in dollars, so the dollar can go up and down. If it were $1.40 to the pound as it was a while ago, then the PS3 would be a bargain compared to the US; if it's anything more than that, the UK price appears to be comparatively expensive. But we're dealing with euros and yen - it's about the relationship between those currencies".

Maguire points out that a fluctuation of 2p on the sterling-euro exchange rate - from the current 66p to 68p - equates to a £12 swing on the cost of a PS3, which would roughly put the UK on a par with the rest of Europe.

The Sony boss also said the reason for not offering a 20GB model in the UK was down to consumer wanting only the 60GB version so they can store data move easily.