Sony Corp. said Thursday it cut the U.S. price of its popular PlayStation 2 video game console by about 13 percent, saying the discount should help fuel demand.
In a statement, the company said that effective immediately the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system would retail for about $130, down from a previous price of around $149.
Analysts have been waiting for a price reduction on Sony’s market-leading video game console ahead of the expected release of its new PlayStation 3 in November. Sony has kept mum on the price of its new system, due in stores in November.
Rival Nintendo Co. Ltd is also slated to release its next-generation machine, code-named Revolution, this year.
Video game console makers typically reduce prices to spur demand, particularly as a device ages or ahead of the launch of a new model.
PlayStation 2, first introduced in 2000, has shipped over 101 million units and dominates the interactive game console market, despite the introduction last year of Microsoft Corp.’s next generation device, Xbox 360. The more popular premium Xbox 360 system retails for $400.
Sony last cut the price on its stand-alone PS2 to about $149 from $179 in June 2004. Last week, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian suggested that Microsoft could also trim the price on its original Xbox device, but said the impact of that would be limited due to dwindling supplies of the machine that now sells for around $149.
Console price cuts could also recharge slumping U.S. video game sales, which fell 8 percent in March, its seventh straight monthly decline, according to data from market research firm NPD Group. March hardware sales tumbled 31 percent on weak sales of current-generation consoles.