If there's one question that's left echoing through the game-o-sphere following Sony's announcement of their ambitious new handheld, it's the obvious: How much is this thing going to cost? Sony definitely isn't ready to tell us the price yet, but they're willing to admit that it's been a concern from the start.

While speaking with Sony Computer Entertainment president of worldwide studios Shu Yoshida about the NGP, I asked if he was worried about the problem of pricing, given the powerful (and presumably expensive) technology that's built into the device. He responded by acknowledging that Sony is aware of price being an important issue:

"From the very beginning of the project -- since 2008 -- pricing was one of the considerations that we had. Hopefully when we announce the price, people will see the proper value."

I hope so too, but that's going to depend pretty heavily on what that price is, especially if we have to add in a payment plan for 3G coverage.

Yoshida did provide one further hint to go off of as we begin speculating about the price. When I brought up the initial shock at the PlayStation 3 launch price, he laughed and assured me, "It's not going to be $599." Well, that's a start.