Word had spread of a new announcement concerning Sony's console platforms today, and eventually lead to rumors of a fresh PlayStation 2 price drop. Recognizing there is still retail performance left in the PS2, Sony earlier today confirmed a $30 USD price drop for the console, bringing the PS2's suggested retail pricing to $99. Europe's PAL market is similarly seeing the PS2's price drop to €99, barring the United Kingdom where the PS2 remains priced at £94.
PlayStation 2 console remains a faithful platform even after all these years in service, especially considering the Sony spotlight was more or less stolen by both its Cell-powered successor and portable kid brother. While it wasn't a new PlayStation 3 price cut which everybody is waiting on pins and needles for, industry analysts like EEDAR's Jesse Divnich still applaud Sony's latest announcement. That it manages to track globally at retail is a testament to the fight left in the PS2, and today's price cut just might breath new life into it. Divnich guesstimates:
Before the announcement of the price cut, we expected PS2 software sales, a good measure of a console’s health, to decline to 16% April through July. We now expect PS2 software to maintain an 18% market share among home console unit sales for quarter two. While we could not confirm a worldwide price cut, we do expect PS2 hardware prices to drop across major regions in the coming months.
In terms of sales, we expect the PS2 price cut to increase hardware sales 30% ahead of last quarter in the North America (January through March 09) and to increase hardware sales by 10% year-over-year for quarter 2 (April through July).
Sony itself can't resist pointing to PS2's shelf life, as it serves to further underline their commitment to decade-long hardware life cycles. The PS3 is not exempt from this goal, though the platform faces new challenges including a high price tag, and (much) better selling competition. In any case, it appears Sony can count on relying on the PS2 as its console for the masses until the PS3 hits its sweet spot. It's not a bad plan, considering the sheer volume of PS2 titles already out with even more titles on the horizon. In other words, the price drop isn't for something trivial, but instead hardware with plenty of support.