Aug. 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM ET
The video game machine price cutting continues. Only this time it’s Sony turn.
During a press conference at the Gamescom video game trade show taking place in Germany this week, Sony on Tuesday announced that it would cut the price of its PlayStation 3 by $50.
That means the PS3 model with the 160GB hard-drive will drop from $299 to $249 while the model with the 320GB hard-drive will drop from $349 to $299. The price cut goes into effect immediately, said Sony president Jack Tretton.
The price cut certainly makes sense. The PS3 is almost five years old and has been the most expensive home game console on the market. Microsoft’s competing Xbox 360 runs $200 for a 4GB hard drive model and $300 for the 250GB hard drive model while Nintendo cut the price of the Wii to $150 in May.
Sony also revealed it would be releasing a new, lower-priced model of its PlayStation Portable game machine — one that cannot access Wi-Fi. However, this new PSP E-1000 will only be available in Europe and for a price of 99 Euros. (The standard PSP-3000 runs $130 in the U.S.)
Though the budget-priced PSP can't access Wi-Fi, Sony says it can play the full catalog of PSP games either on UMD or downloadable from the PlayStation Store via Media Go.
The price cuts come mere weeks after Nintendo announced that it would slash the price of its 3DS handheld game machine by a whopping $80 — from $250 to $170. It also comes as Sony prepares to launch its new handheld game machine — the PlayStation Vita — due to arrive in Japan later this year and in the U.S. early next year.
Some video game analysts and critics have suggested that it’s really the Vita that needs the price cut — even though the device hasn't launched yet. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, Sony revealed that it will charge $249 for the device that features a 5-inch OLED screen and an unusual back-side touch panel. Sony says it will charge $299 for a 3G model.
But with Nintendo struggling to sell its 3DS game machine at the $250 mark and finally reducing it $170, some have questioned whether gamers will be willing to pay $250 and above for the Vita.
Sony, however, has not wavered on the price and, instead, on Tuesday unveiled a host of new games and apps that will be available for the handheld device when it launches. For more on that, check out our story here.
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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.