Sony are hatching plans to foil Microsoft's launch of Xbox 360 this November by slashing the price of the slim, second generation PlayStation 2, according to gaming site SPOnG, citing unnamed retail sources.
The rumour is that Sony will slash up to 40% off the current £105 price of the slimline PS2, reducing it to a street price of between £60 and £70 in time for the Christmas rush.
"You can expect significant reductions in the price of everything this Christmas, but most noticeable will be the PlayStation 2," the source told SPOnG. "We’ve been briefed to expect a price as low as £60 beginning at the start of December. Sony’s probably looking at a global price cut - around $100 in the States and a serious Platinum range announcement too."
This could prove quite a marketing challenge for Microsoft, with the Xbox 360 widely expected to be introduced at US$299
- up to three times the price of the PS2.
Obviously gaming enthusiasts will lust after the Xbox 360 for its third generation graphics, especially those with High Definition displays, as well as the newest versions of established franchises such as Halo and Project Gotham Racing
. However, "PlayStation" is by far the bigger name with mainstream consumers, and if it's Granny buying little Johnny his Christmas present, she will no doubt go with the familiar name, with the cheaper price tag. Let's just hope she doesn't sue somebody
It will be intriguing to see how this situation pans out. If Xbox 360 proves popular at launch, Microsoft are unlikely to address its price until PlayStation 3 arrives in Spring 2006. At that point, the Seattle giant is expected to apply pressure to their Japanese rivals by reducing the price aggressively, making the expensive PS3
appear even more so.
However, in the unlikely event of Xbox 360 flopping, in the face of dirt-cheap PS2 inventory, analysts at Wedbush Morgan have suggested
that Sony might delay the next-generation launch until 2007. This seems unlikely - any launch delay will be down to hardware yields or launch-title developments; Sony would never give Microsoft over a year's head start without good reason.
We want to hear your thoughts - can you think of a single person who wants a PS2 yet doesn't already have one? Will Sony's diversionary tactics prevent Xbox 360 from being a Must Have this Christmas? How many of you plan to wait for PS3 to be released before deciding which side of the fence to stand on? Voice your opinion in News Discussion