via Games Industry

Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet could be a driving force in improving PlayStation 3 sales early next year, according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.

Speaking exclusively to from the Tokyo Game Show, Pachter said the highly-anticipated game from the makers of Rag Doll Kung Fu should appeal to a family audience - something that Sony and rival Microsoft have so far failed to capture with their next-generation machines.

"After seeing LittleBigPlanet at TGS, I believe it could be a console mover," commented Pachter.

"The game is really innovative, and I think it adds a family element that is so far missing from both the Xbox 360 and the PS3. If they can accompany that game's launch with a price cut (or a lower priced SKU), I think we'll see a spike in sales," he added.

Although Sony stated there are no immediate plans for a price cut of the PlayStation 3 at last week's event, Pachter believes the company needs to drop the RRP of the console if it's to meet its 11 million shipment targets by March 2008.

"If Sony doesn't cut price at all during its fiscal year, they will probably miss their 11 million shipment target," he said. "However, a price cut early in 2008 should spark sales, and their line-up of LittleBigPlanet, Gran Turismo 5, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Grand Theft Auto 4 should help move consoles."

"If they don't cut price, they'll probably sell through around 7 million for the fiscal year, and will probably ship no more than 8 - 9 million," he added.

Sony unveiled LittleBigPlanet earlier this year at the Game Developers Conference and it has quickly become one of the PS3's most anticipated titles, along with the 3D social networking service Home and the latest iteration of SingStar.