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PlayStation 2 discounted to $149

Sony matches earlier price cut by Microsoft's Xbox.
/ Source: Reuters

Sony Corp. on Tuesday said it would cut the price of its market-leading PlayStation 2 video game console to $149 from $179, saying it was time for a price more attractive to the casual gamer.

Sony, one of the world's biggest makers of consumer electronics, said it would immediately begin a marketing campaign to promote the new lower price, which brings the PS2 in line with its closest competitor, Microsoft Corp's Xbox, which went to $149 at the end of March.

Sony said it cut the price on both its stand-alone PS2, which had been $179, and the PS2 bundled with a networking adapter, which was $199.

Industry analysts had suggested that if Sony did not lower the price on its PS2 in order to spur sales, U.S. game software makers, many of whom track Sony's fiscal year, might find sales growth targets harder to reach.

They had speculated that Sony might cut the price of the PS2 by the opening of E3, the video game industry's annual trade show, which starts this week in Los Angeles.

Late in April, Sony forecast that PS2 sales in the business year ending March 2005 would fall by as much as 30 percent, a much sharper decline than analysts had expected.