US PS2 price cut

$20 cheaper. Woo.

The price of the PlayStation 2 has been officially cut to $129.99 by Sony Computer Entertainment America, down from $149.99, in a move designed to further boost sales of the market leading console as the hype builds for its successor.

The price cut was predicted last week by analyst Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital, who said at the time that the cut was "necessary not only to drive demand at the end of a console cycle, but also to bring the current-generation consoles within reach of more value-oriented customers."

Although Sony continues to be comfortably the market leader in North America - US sales of the PS2 are still higher, month on month, than any of its rivals, and it now has an installed base of over 33 million units in the region - sales of the PS2 have slowed significantly in the last year.

March sales of the console were down by 45 per cent year on year, a position which Sony will undoubtedly hope to remedy to some extent with this price cut - which will be supported by a major advertising campaign both in print and online, and merchandising support in stores.

"While we continue to innovate and design groundbreaking new products, we remain dedicated to our long-term vision for the PlayStation 2 platform," explained SCEA boss Kaz Hirai in a statement about the price cut.

His comments are especially relevant in light of the high volume of information being released about PlayStation 3 at present, with the next-gen console expected to be Sony's major focus at the E3 trade show next month in Los Angeles.

However, the firm is definitely keen to continue to show its commitment to the PS2 - and one of its key titles at the show, God of War 2, is a PlayStation 2 exclusive title which isn't expected to arrive at retail for around nine months.

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