Sony is cutting the price of its older generation PlayStation 2 (PS2) videogame consoles to 100 dollars (US) in a move prompted by tough economic times and a desire to lure fans to the platform.
Sony Computer Entertainment America said the price of a PS2 console will drop 30 dollars beginning April 1 but that it is not trimming the price of its latest-generation PlayStation 3 consoles.
PS2 consoles have remained strong sellers despite the launch in late 2006 of a more powerful PS3 version with built-in Blu-ray high definition disk player.
PS3 consoles came with high price tags, a version with an 80-gigabyte hard drive costs 400 dollars.
Sales of PS3 consoles have lagged behind those of market-ruling Nintendo Wii hardware and Microsoft's Xbox 360, which hit the market in 2005.
Launch of high-end PS3 consoles revived the popularity of PS2 models that became comparative bargains in the marketplace.
Sony reports selling more than 136 million PS2 consoles since they were launched in 2000.
"Demand for PlayStation 2 remains strong throughout the world," said SCEA president Jack Tretton.
"The new 99-dollar price point will bring in new consumers who will discover how PlayStation platforms are an outstanding choice for their gaming and home entertainment needs."
Sony hopes that beefing up the ranks of PS2 users will eventually translate into loyal fans that upgrade to PS3 models.
Analysts have gone on record saying they believe it will take a PS3 price cut to breathe new life into sales of the consoles.
Microsoft saw Xbox 360 console sales rise last year after the US technology giant trimmed about 50 dollars from price tags.
Wii consoles are priced at 250 dollars each and have dominated the market since their launch in late 2006.
(c) 2009 AFP
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