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Sony Cuts PS2 Price to $149

Los Angeles — Sony Computer Entertainment America announced at E3 that it has cut the price on the PlayStation2 gaming console, sold in a combo pack, to a $149 suggested retail price.

Previously, the console had sold for $199. Sony said it expects the price cut to “fuel consumer uptake of PlayStation2.”

“The new $149 price point is part of our long-term vision for the PlayStation2 platform,” said Jack Tretton, Sony Computer Entertainment America’s executive VP. “The consumer appetite for our system has been staggering — over 90 percent of our original PlayStation sales came at $149 or less, and given our current 25 million installed base, the potential growth for PlayStation2 is promising.”

The PlayStation2 Combo Pack includes the PlayStation2 console, Network Adapter (Ethernet/modem) and a copy of the online-enabled game, ATV Offroad Fury 2. In addition to the PS2 console, the bundle is said to offer an $80 value in merchandise and software with each hardware purchase.

Sony cited NPD Group market research indicating that since its launch, the PlayStation2 has sold over 25 million consoles in North America, representing one out of every four households. Sony was said to have 60 percent share of the “next generation” console market.

In other news, Sony Computer Entertainment announced that its new handheld video game player — the PSP — has gained the support of 99 third-party game developers and publishers from around the world.

The PSP is slated to be launched in Japan in the end of 2004, followed by the North American and European launches in the spring of 2005.

The PSP will be based on the UMD (Universal Media Disc) format, which is a newly developed compact, high-capacity optical disc.

Sony said it expects to support the game player with “a strong lineup of software titles.”

In addition to game developers and publishers, many inquiries have been received from various companies in the music and movie industries regarding publishing on PSP.

In response to wide interest across the entertainment industries, Sony will actively promote UMD as the new disc media to provide a diverse range of entertainment content in the future.