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US analysts predict imminent PS2 price drop

Amidst the current gloomy predictions for poor software sales in the US, Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital believes Sony may be about to take steps to boost the market with a price drop for the PS2.

Sony may be about to take steps to boost the US market, with a price drop for the PS2 being predicted by analyst Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital in the midst of the current gloomy predictions for poor software sales.

Price drop predictions are not uncommon, especially given the current hardware transition, and it should be noted that the idea counters comments made at the recent PlayStation Business briefing by Ken Kutaragi - who stated that Sony will not be making any cuts in the foreseeable future.

However, a lower price point at this stage could provide Sony with an ideal opportunity to boost waning software sales of the current generation machine, as consumers await the November launch of the PS3. Additionally, a shift in focus towards more value-oriented customers could drive sales further, though it is equally likely that such a move would only prove truly useful with further reductions in retail software prices from major publishers - a move unlikely to be viewed favourably in the current soft market conditions.

"In our opinion, hardware price cuts are necessary not only to drive demand at the end of a console cycle, but also to bring the current-generation consoles within reach of more value-oriented customers," Sebastian wrote in a recent memo.

"Our industry checks indicate that Sony is planning to cut the PS2 price to USD 129 from the current USD 149 before the end of this month."

The prediction has prompted renewed speculation as to a response from Microsoft in terms of the price point for its Xbox console, though with its entire focus on the current market lead in the next-generation race, Microsoft has comfortably de-emphasised the original Xbox (which is already positioned at a low price in the market), making further reductions from the firm unlikely.

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