Sony announced on Tuesday that it will slash the price of its 5-year-old Play Station 3 console $50 to $249 for the 160GB model, and to $299 for the 320GB model.
This price drop could help Sony boost sales at an important moment. In July, the U.S. Video Game Industry sales hit its lowest retail performance since October 2006, according to the latest report by NPD.
The move also seems to be an "image lifter" and an incentive from Sony to consumers who may have acquired some trepidation to join the console network, running on broadband, after it was hacked back in April leaving millions of gamers in anger with possible leaked credit card information and a shut-down network.
The network was eventually restored in May, but had already caused Sony to lose millions of dollars.
Jack Tretton, CEO of the Sony PlayStation business, did not mention the hack ordeal in his blog that "the new price will make the PS3 more accessible than ever before," and that "it is gaining momentum and giving gamers everywhere more of what they want: an unparalleled line-up of exclusive games and access to the best in sports, movies and TV, all at a great value."
So far, more than 50 million PS3s have been sold globally, more than 2,495 Blu-Ray titles are available (PS3 supports Blu-Ray technology), and the PS3 platform boasts a portfolio of games and video content on the PlayStation Network of more than 60,000 titles.
The PS3 will dive head on against rival Microsoft's Xbox 360, but with hardware advantage; Microsoft Xbox 360 starts at $299 for 250GB, 70GB less than the PS3.
The Los Angeles Times reports that although sales of the PS3 have risen stably since it was first introduced to the market, this year's sale of the PS3, 145,000 consoles for the month of July, is significantly less than 215,000 a year earlier.