Sony cuts price on PlayStation 2

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) on Friday reduced the price in Japan for the PlayStation2 (PS2) to 35,000 yen ($500), the company said.

When SCEI launched the PS2 in March 2000, its price was set at 39,800 yen ($570). In April this year, the company decided to let the market determine the price, hoping that would bring the price down. The lowest the price reached at retail stores in Japan was 38,000 yen ($540), according to Masami Nakamura, a spokeswoman for SCEI.

SCEI hopes the lowered price will boost PS2 sales ahead of the impending arrival of long-awaited game software for the console, Nakamura said. Upcoming releases that are attracting the attention of Japanese gamers include "Final Fantasy X" by Square, "Devil May Cry" by Capcom, and "REZ ", which will be the first game developed by Sega for the PS2 since the company abandoned its own game console business to concentrate on software.

"We decided to cut the price so that those who are interested in the new games can afford the console," Nakamura said.

More and more games are starting to come out for the PS2, even though the launch of the console was more than one year ago. "It usually takes one and a half years to two years for game developers to create new games," Nakamura said.

But there is another reason for SCEI wanting to see the PS2 become more affordable.

Nintendo plans to launch its GameCube console in September and will be followed by the release of Microsoft Xbox console later this year.

Nakamura did not rule out further reductions in the PS2's price in the future, saying any decision would be based upon market trends.

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