Well, it looks like Sony has taken the first aggresive step
in the console war by cutting the price of the Playstation
2 from $299 to $199, matching the price of Nintendo's GameCube
and putting a distant $100 between itself and Microsoft's
Xbox. As reported at CNN.com,
Sony announced the price cut of the PS2 and a likewise 50%
cut of the already economical PSone to $49. While rumors of
this cut had been expected for some time and most had been
expecting an announcement at E3, it appears that Sony may
have out-manuevered Microsoft, who was similarly
considering a hefty price cut to compete with Sony.
Sony had previously stated that a price cut would happen
in September, but this bold move seems to have forced the
hand of their opponents. Since Nintendo had hinted at a possible
price drop depending on what Sony's decisions were, expect
an announcement from them soon. Likewise, expect Microsoft
to tighten their belt and cut prices also.
And, it's not just the console that's getting cuts. Apparently,
first party games and peripherals are seeing likewise cuts,
already evident in online gaming stores like Gamestop.com.
First party titles are getting cut to $39.99; the PS2 Dual
Shock controller is getting cut to $24.99; and the Memory
Cards have been cut to $24.99. Check out the Press
Release from Sony for more information.
Why are they doing this? Are they afraid of losing their
market share? With 30
million units shipped worldwide, Sony did this because
they wanted to beat Microsoft to the punch and force the competition
to change their prices to compete. Also, Sony wanted to garner
the sales of those who were waiting on the older gaming system
to finally drop in price. Plus, with the price drop, Sony's
online Adaptor and External Harddrive, which will be released
later in the year, might prove to be more attractive add-on
sales to some shoppers.
Will we see similar changes from Microsoft and Nintendo?
Most likely. Expect more news to come.