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Let battle commence

Price of PS2 slashed in North America

Sony has cut the American price of its PlayStation2 video game console by one third today in a move to boost sales and increase its lead over rivals Nintendo and Microsoft.

The PlayStation2 will now cost $199 in North America, down from $299. It's not known whether similar cuts will happen here.

The company has also cut the price of the original PlayStation console to under $50.

Sadly you can't buy US consoles at cut prices and then use them here — unless you get the consoles 'chipped' to make them work in the UK.

The price cut trumps Microsoft's rumoured plans to bring down the price of its Xbox next week at the start of the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) show in Los Angeles.

Sony, the leader in the worldwide game console market, puts the PlayStation2 within reach of a new audience with the price drop, and demonstrates that it doesn't fear Microsoft, said Paul O'Donovan, senior analyst with research firm Dataquest.

"Sony is saying that it is not going to be priced out by Xbox," said O'Donovan. "The players are trying to gather the next phase of consumers."

Since the PlayStation2 and the Xbox both double as DVD players, there is competition in that market as well. Nintendo's GameCube, however, does not offer DVD capabilities. That console, according to O'Donovan, is targeted at a different market — children rather than older teenagers and young adults.


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