Los Angeles - A little over a week before the Electronic Entertainment Expo here, Sony Computer Entertainment slashed $100 off the price of its PlayStation 2 console, setting the world on notice that it would not give up its market share leadership easily.
The new PlayStation 2 price is $199, the company said, while the price of its PlayStation One console is also reduced to $49.
The price cut was a full third of the previous $299 suggested retail price for the PlayStation 2, while the PlayStation One received a 50 percent cut from the prior $99 suggested price. Prices for accessories and extra controllers will also be reduced, Sony said, and the company is considering price moves on some software titles.
Industry analysts believe Sony's moves were a pre-emptive strike against Microsoft, which is expected to announce a price cut on its $299 Xbox system. Microsoft had recently announced an Xbox price reduction for the European market.
Nintendo, meanwhile, is currently selling its GameCube system at $199, and may also consider a price move to keep in step with Sony, analysts said.
In early May, Sony announced it had sold more than 30 million PlayStation 2 units worldwide, which is almost 10 times the installed base of Microsoft's Xbox.
As this went to press, Sony was expected to have a range of additional announcements planned for E3, including August shipping plans for network adapter for the Playstation 2 that will bring online game play to the popular console.