After the rumors, it is now official! Sony announced yesterday it is cutting the price of the PlayStation 2 by $20 in the U.S.
The price drop was widely expected, coming ahead of the planned November launch of Sony's new PlayStation 3. Console makers mormally use this strategy in an effort to keep consumer demand high as it races to complete its next generation console.
To date, the Sonyr has sold some 101 million consoles since its appearance in 2000 and over a billion game titles. It also enjoys a 56 percent market share in the U.S., which is the double of its nearest competitor, Nintendo.
It also remains the most popular platform in every major market, including North America, Europe and the PAL markets, and Japan and Asia.
"While we continue to innovate and design groundbreaking new products, we remain dedicated to our long-term vision for the PlayStation 2 platform," said Kaz Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America in a statement.
A spokesman for Sony UK said the company had no plans to follow suit in the UK where the console is priced at 104.99 pounds.
He told the BBC News web site
that the PS2 was "very competitively priced" and Sony preferred to rely bundles to attract consumers.
Sony plans a large marketing blitz to promote the new pricing structure for the console that will begin on April 27. Print ads will appear in Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer, with online ads beginning the same day on sites such as AOL.