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US Price Cuts for PS2 and Xbox, Player bundle for Cube

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Microsoft and Sony have both cut $20 off the price of their consoles in the USA, bringing them down to $179 - while Nintendo has announced plans to bundle the Game Boy Player accessory for free with the Cube.

In Sony's case, the $179 price point is designed mostly as an inventory clearing inventory for the current PS2 model. This should clear the decks for the slightly revised SCPH-50000 model which launches in the USA in June.

The new model is to be sold as a bundle with the network adapter for the current price of $199. As reported previously, it features a built-in IR receiver and a variety of enhanced DVD playback features, but the only games-related difference is the lack of the little-used i-Link (IEEE-1394, or FireWire) port on the system.

Price cuts from both Microsoft and Sony were widely anticipated at E3 last week, although the general media consensus pre-show seemed to be that a drop of $50 would be announced.

Nintendo has also increased the value of its GameCube console offering with a plan to bundle the Game Boy Player accessory for free with the system. The Player sits underneath the Cube and allows GBA games to be played on the Cube. It's a simple idea, but it's been greeted very favourably by the games press and by gamers in Japan, where the Player launched earlier this year.

The GB Player will be sold along with the GameCube for the current price point of €199.99 in Europe ($149.99 in the USA), and the bundle will be available for a limited time (we're not sure exactly how limited) after the launch of the accessory in late June. © gamesindustry.biz

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