The PlayStation 2 has surged back to the top of the hardware sales rankings in the USA following its price cut to $149, announced last month at E3, with sales in the month after the cut more than doubling.
Data released this week by Sony Computer Entertainment America shows that the console's sales rose by some 216 per cent in the week immediately following the price cut, with an increase of 141 per cent over the full period since the cut.
The increase in sales will have propelled the PlayStation 2 well past its console rivals, after Sony's platform slipped behind the Xbox in monthly sales in April this year for the first time since the launch of the Microsoft console.
The boost for the Xbox also came off the back of a major price cut, however, and Sony will be hoping to beat expectations of a decline in demand for PS2 hardware this year and continue to outsell the Xbox and GameCube at the new $149 price point.
The increased sales noted since the price cut have actually pushed year on year sales of the PS2 upwards, with 26 per cent growth on the same period last year - and should hopefully help to slow the overall decline in hardware sales which has hit the USA so far this year.
Market figures show that the US console hardware sector has been down 10.7 per cent this year to date, although these figures do not cover the most recent weeks since the PS2 price cut. The decline is entirely due to slower sales of the PS2, as both Xbox and GameCube have shown year-on-year gains.
By contrast, both Europe and Japan have seen growth in the year to date - with console sales in the PAL territories up 10.9 per ccent, while Japan has been boosted 2.3 per cent by the strengthening performance of Nintendo's GameCube.
"This price drop came when we felt it was strategically the best timing to expand the market," commented SCEA vice president Jack Tretton, "and it's gratifying to see consumers respond so aggressively to our commitment to meet their growing expectations. The new sales data provides a powerful proof point that consumers - both our mass-market, core audience and casual gamers - are placing their confidence in the longevity of PlayStation 2, which we see as absolutely essential to the health of the industry."