There’s been a number of news stories floating around the past couple of days about how many industry analysts think that Sony may cut the price of the Playstation 2 to $129 by the end of the month:
Many analysts expected Sony to announce a PS2 price cut at E3, the annual trade show of the video game industry. But Colin Sebastian, senior research analyst for Lazard Capital Markets, said a move this month, coupled with last month’s quiet price drop for the PSP handheld device (from $249 to $199), will allow the company to go into E3 with momentum and allow the focus to be solely on the PS3.
“In our opinion, hardware price cuts are necessary not only to drive demand at the end of a console cycle, but also to bring the current-generation consoles within reach of more value-oriented customers,” wrote Sebastian.
Which just leads me to think the analysts are stating their hopes and dreams more than anything based on reality. The truth is that the PS2 is still selling extremely well at its current price point in spite of competition from the cheaper Nintendo Gamecube and the months-old Xbox 360 not to mention the prerelease hype surrounding the Playstation 3. The only reason Sony might consider a price drop is to make life hard on Microsoft which actually raised the price on the original Xbox after they released the 360 in hopes of driving people to the newer console which they actually hope to make money on instead of losing money on as they did with the original. That would put Microsoft in a rough spot because they really can’t afford to cut the price of the 360 yet and if they cut the price of the original Xbox then it’ll undermine their efforts to sell as many 360s as they can. Beyond that you have to wonder why Sony would cut the price on a machine that sells just fine at the moment.
Of course if they do decide to stick it to Microsoft it’s a win for the consumers. So while I don’t necessarily expect a price drop anytime soon I wouldn’t consider it a bad thing if it did happen.