When we learned that today's announcement couldn't possibly be a price drop for the PlayStation 3, we were about 90% certain it would instead be a price cut for the system's predecessor. And so it is.
Today, Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced that as of tomorrow, April 1, the PS2 will drop to the deliciously agreeable price of $99.99. The most popular video game console in history has reached the 136 million worldwide sell-in mark, and its immense library of titles has swelled to around 1,900 in a little over 9 years. Said Jack Tretton, SCEA president and CEO:
"PlayStation 2 set the industry standard for worldwide mass market adoption and is a clear embodiment of Sony's commitment to platforms that deliver 10-year product lifecycles. It's a tribute to outstanding technology, great consumer value and unprecedented development support that we've now been able to do twice what no one else has ever accomplished. Demand for PlayStation 2 remains strong throughout the world, and the new $99 price point will bring in new consumers who will discover how PlayStation platforms are an outstanding choice for their gaming and home entertainment needs. Just as PlayStation 2 is delivering on a 10-year lifecycle and helped expand and solidify the DVD format for home entertainment along the way, we believe PLAYSTATION 3 offers the same promise by helping secure the Blu-ray format and delivering unprecedented value as the total home entertainment solution for the next decade."
SCEA says they will keep supporting the PS2 with even more new titles "that appeal to families and casual gamers looking for social entertainment experiences." If you're looking for some great deals out there, over 250 titles are now under the Greatest Hits umbrella, making them extremely cheap, relatively speaking. The press release further reminds us of the role the PS2 has played in establishing the widespread popularity of many of the leading franchises in the industry today; Metal Gear Solid , Guitar Hero , Final Fantasy , God of War , Ratchet and Clank , Gran Turismo , etc.
The release concludes by saying the PS2 "remains the most played computer entertainment system on the market." According to a December 2008 Nielsen report, the PS2 became the first console in the industry's history to hit the 50 million sell-in unit sales plateau in North America…and now that it's at $99, you will probably see the last surge of hardware sales. This is a legendary machine, indeed, and now it's at a budget price in the world of game consoles. If for whatever bizarre reason you don't have one, now's the time. Remember, your PS3 likely doesn't boast backwards compatibility for PS2 titles…and you know you still wanna play 'em.