The new price, which takes effect on Wednesday, represents a 23% drop and is likely to extend the life of Sony's previous-generation console. In addition, the cut makes it more likely Sony will drop the price of the PlayStation 3, Dow Jones Newswire reported. The PS3 sells for $399 and lags in sales to rivals the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.
Sony says it has sold 136 million PS2s since releasing the device in 2000. While video-game consoles typically have a lifespan of five years, Sony said it believes it can extend the life of its consoles to 10 years.
"With the original PlayStation and now PlayStation 2, we've proven that consumers can rely on our platforms for their gaming and entertainment needs for at least a decade," John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony, said in the company's blog.
Indeed, with the PS3, Sony has also proved that high prices are less likely to attract customers, even when the system packs a lot more punch than competitors' machines. Nintendo has sold 50 million Wii consoles since its release in November 2006, the same month Sony launched the PS3 at double the price. Sony reportedly is struggling to meet its goal of selling 10 million units by the end of March.
While debuting at a starting price of $500, the PS3 now sells for as low as $399, which is still far more expensive than the Wii and about $100 more than the Xbox 360. Microsoft cut the price of the latter last September and bundled games with the system to make it more attractive. Nintendo launched the Wii at $250 and sells the console for the same price today.
The new price for the PS2 is likely to attract people who have yet to start playing video games. While many new games are no longer written for the PS2, Activision-Blizzard and Electronic Arts still make PS2-compatible games, and used video-game retailer GameStop offers many original titles for the PS2.
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