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Sony drops PlayStation 2 price to $99

March 31, 2009 |  8:26 am
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2. Credit: Sony

Sony will cut the price of its PlayStation 2 console by $30, to $99, starting Wednesday, positioning the 9-year-old console as an entertainment bargain.

Sony, which has sold more than 136.8 million PS2s since launching the console in Japan in October 1999, emphasized today that there are more than 1,820 PS2 games for $29.99 or less. More than 250 titles are currently $20. Sony said game publishers are planning to release between 70 to 80 new titles, primarily sports and casual games, this year, bringing the total to nearly 1,900 by the end of the year.

In addition, publishers are poised to release another 70 to 80 titles in 2010, said John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment of America, the division that manages the PlayStation business in North America.

"We expect that the PlayStation 2 market will remain vibrant for as long as we continue to support the platform," Koller said in an interview this morning. Koller said Sony is reaching out to families and lower-income households that don't currently have a game console.

"This will prolong the life of the PS2," said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, "but it's not going to do a lot to spur sales. The console will just decline more slowly."

Pachter said the large number of games available for the PS2 was "smart marketing" that would resonate well with budget-conscious consumers and in markets such as Latin America, where Sony is making a big push. "So a family can buy a PS2 and several games for less than the cost of a Wii," Pachter said.

-- Alex Pham