Sony Computer Entertainment has slashed the price of its PlayStation 2, announcing the console will carry a street price of $499.95 from today.
The price is significantly less than the $749 price tag the console carried at its launch last November and Sony hopes the lower price will capture consumer interest in the lead-up to the Christmas season.
"Clearly the new price will make PlayStation 2 much more accessible to the mass market," said Sony Computer Entertainment director of marketing Joanna White. "But it is not just about price -- in the run-up to Christmas we will see a wealth of outstanding games launched in support of PlayStation 2."
Recognising that the success of console hardware largely depends on the software, the company has also announced an array of new titles. The move is a sign of the escalating console war, as both Microsoft and Nintendo prepare to release their new product offerings. Sony has a head-start, but will nevertheless spend $7 million over the next four months in marketing initiatives.
"From November last year, PlayStation 2 has sold at about three times the rate of the original PlayStation over the same launch period," said SCE Australia managing director Michael Ephraim.
However, Ephraim said he was unsure how long the price could be sustained given the poor performance of the Australian dollar.
"With the recent global economic volatility and the deterioration of the Australian dollar, we hope we can sustain the price."