Sony ‘very comfortable’ with $199 PS2 price point
Doesn't like bundles though
Responding to mounting speculation of an imminent price cut, SCEA president Kaz Hirai has told news agency Reuters that he is "very comfortable" with the $199 price point, and criticised game bundling moves by competitors.
"We are very comfortable at the $199 price point... The numbers are very healthy for the PS2 at the $199 price point," Hirai said, Reuters reports.
Price drops to all three consoles had been widely expected to take effect around E3 this year, just as they did last year - when Microsoft and Sony slashed their hardware prices $100 to $199, and Nintendo cut the Cube from $199 to $149.
However, Hirai seemingly doesn't believe that a PS2 price cut is necessary at this point. He also criticises Nintendo and Microsoft's current policies of bundling software for free with their consoles - stating that he doesn't believe that these moves were really helping sales.
Industry reaction to Hirai's comments has been mixed, with Take Two CEO Jeff Lapin saying that he hoped to see significant price cuts at E3, but conceding that "if I'm Sony, I'd never want to cut the price"; while THQ chief executive Brian Farrell pointed out that the pricing of the console is unimportant as long as Sony can meet its installed base targets for the year.
"Whether Sony gets it at $199, $179 or $149, we're indifferent," he told Reuters. "All we need is that 10.5 million units."
The pressure on Sony to drop its prices in Europe is higher than in the USA, as here it is by far the most expensive of the three consoles, unlike the USA where the PS2 is sold at the same price as the Xbox. A recent price-cut by Microsoft in Europe saw the Xbox reduced to £129.99, leaving the PS2 retailing £40 more expensively at £169.99. © gamesindustry.biz