PlayStation 2 Price Drop: Maybe

by Nitin M

Speculation is rife that Sony is planning to cut the PlayStation 2 console price by about US$ 20. Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian wrote in a recent report that a price cut could be just weeks away.

How does this affect consumers in the Middle East? Well, for one thing, Sony’s Middle East personnel will definitely look to match the price to the US market in order to counter the threat of parallel imports which are still the bane of a lot of businesses in the region.

Also, with the PlayStation 3 at least 6-7 months away and the Xbox 360 being top of mind for a lot of potential console buyers, Sony will need to put together some sort of price driven incentive to steal into potential Xbox 360 sales.

While Microsoft has not officially launched the Xbox 360 in the Middle East, the parallel market is doing quite well in retail sales of the 360. A fair chunk of core gamers will want to wait for the PlayStation 3 in end-2006/early-2007.

Sony may also choose to drop the price in order to acquire consumers who have been waiting for the console price to reach a more “acceptable” price point.

The Japanese company may also be coming under pressure from software publishers who may be complaining of dropping software sales. It is quite normal in the industry to see console prices drop about 3-4 months after the previous holiday season i.e. in this case, quarter 4 of the 2005.

All in all, this is potentially good news for those who haven’t yet picked up the console or own another console like the Xbox or Nintendo’s GameCube.