PSP price drops to $170

Sony celebrates its portable system's second anniversary by trimming a handful of Hamiltons off the hardware's Core Pack.

The PlayStation Portable was released in North America just over two years ago, and to mark the occasion, Sony is dropping the price on the bare-bones package of its gaming handheld. Effective today, the PSP Core Pack (a system with AC adaptor and battery) retails for $169.99, a $30 drop from its previous price point of $199.99.

This is the first price drop for a system package in the PSP line. While the original $249.99 Value Pack was replaced by the $199.99 Core Pack, part of the cost reduction was due to Sony's leaving out accessories like the 32MB memory card.

Sony also announced that the PSP titles Daxter and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror have now been included in the Greatest Hits line of games and should retail for $19.99.

Analysts welcomed the news, with Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian saying it should be a shot in the arm for the system.

"We expect a modest step-up in PSP unit sales during an otherwise seasonally slower period for the video game industry," Sebastian said in a note to investors today. "We note that a Wal-Mart promotion on Black Friday last year generated significant sales volume for the PSP at a discounted price of $169, providing one indication of potential consumer demand."

In his own note to investors, Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson said that the system has had trouble meeting sales expectations since its launch, in large part because of its price, and that the price cut should help address that. However, Wilson said the move will likely have a limited effect on the company's finances.

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