Sony cuts PS2 price
Sony has announced that it is to cut the price of the PS2 console with immediate effect. The PlayStation 2 console will drop in price from the current price point of £104.99 (€159.99) to £94.99 (€129.99).
The cost of memory cards will also fall from just over £20 (€29.95) to £13.62 (€19.99).
Sony says that ‘significant advances in manufacturing efficiency’, together with ‘economies of scale’ have enabled cost savings to be made, which are now being passed on directly to new PlayStation 2 customers.
Although the cut in UK stores is only ten pounds, the cut manages to tuck the price of the ageing console below that of the Nintendo DS and PSP portables that are popular among the cost-sensitive pre-teen market. Sony is also predicting that there will be around 150 new games for the PS2 in the run up to the end-of-year buying frenzy.
Cynics will claim that Sony wants to clear the warehouse space in advance of the arrival of the PS3 due before Christmas. Nevertheless, Sony will need to get a move on. Kaz Hirai, the head of Sony Computer Entertainment America, admitted in an interview that the PlayStation 3 production line is yet to roll. Speaking to US Gaming site Gamespot, Hirai said, ‘we haven’t started manufacturing yet. Some of our ops guys were actually just in China, and also in Japan just reviewing the lines and everything else. But they are, again, preparing as we speak to get the manufacturing going’.
Even so, there is unlikely to be less of the unsatisfied demand that accompanied the launch of the Xbox 360 a year ago. Although, the 18 November European launch date for the PlayStation 3 is fast approaching, with a price reckoned to be somewhere between £340 and £410, only the more well-heeled gamer can afford one in 2006.
In addition Sony has also announced a new, limited edition Pink PlayStation 2 that will be available throughout Europe from 8 November 2006 and will come complete with two Pink Analogue Controller and a Pink 8MB Memory Card. It is aimed at players of socially interactive games such as BUZZ and SingStar.
However, it seems it will take more than a pink makeover to attract the girls. According to David Gardner, chief operating officer for Electronics Arts, the industry is failing to attract and retain the interest of women. EA’s research found that only 40 per cent of teenage girls played video games versus 90 per cent of teenage boys with most girls losing interest in games within a year.
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