The price of the PlayStation 2 console is set to drop by over a quarter in Japan later this month, with Sony set to move the price point to 19,800 Yen (â'¬157) in response to declining sales of the hardware.
The reduction drops the price by some 5,200 Yen (â'¬41) and is a major drop for the console, although it will still be more expensive than Nintendo's GameCube Enjoyment Pack, which includes a GameCube console and GameBoy Advance Player accessory.
The move follows reports last week that Microsoft plans to drop the price of the Xbox in Japan significantly later this month when Project Gotham Racing 2 is released in the territory, with the console dropping to 16,800 Yen (â'¬133) from its current price point of 24,800 Yen (â'¬196).
However, it's very unlikely that Sony's price cut is in response to Microsoft's move. The PlayStation 2 continues to be Japan's best selling home console despite the recent decline in sales, and generally outsells Nintendo's less expensive GameCube by between 2:1 and 3:1 on a week to week basis. The Xbox barely factors into this market, with market share of under 1 per cent - and is often outsold in Japan by the venerable PSone console.