PlayStation 2 reduced to $149

At Sony's E3 event, Kaz Hirai announces that Sony's console will now be the same price as the Xbox.

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In his opening statement at Sony's E3 press conference, Sony Computer Entertainment America president and COO Kaz Hirai reminisced about the decade since the PlayStation's debut at the 1995 E3. During that period, Sony has shipped 170 million units of hardware, including 71 million PlayStation 2s. He highlighted the fact Sony will ship 14.1 million PlayStation 2s this year, "more than our competitors' consoles in their entire life cycle."

In a not-so-subtle swipe to his competitors, Hirai said the situation was essentially the same now as it was when the PlayStation debuted. "Competitors [are] entering the market--and fading away," he said.

Hirai then went on a lengthy breakdown of the PlayStation 2's market history and demographics. Then he touched on a key issue--the price of the PlayStation 2. "Effective immediately, the PlayStation 2 will be $149," he told a crowd in Los Angeles. Hirai also promised a widespread media campaign promoting the new price point. "The health of the console market depends on us," he said.

The price drop surprised virtually no one. Ever since Microsoft cut the price of the Xbox--a move which doubled the console's sales--analysts had been predicting Sony would have to respond with a discount of its own.

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