TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony Corp. on Tuesday slashed the U.S. price of its PlayStation 2 video-game machine to $199, underpricing its biggest rival, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox, by $100.
Sony's popular game console, which has now sold more than 30 million worldwide, had been selling in the United States for $299. Sony also lowered the price of the less advanced PS one console to $49 from $99.
Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, the video-game unit of Sony, said the PlayStation 2 controls 82 percent of the highly sought-after video-game market. The lower price underlines Sony's determination to stay on top of rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.
Sony released PlayStation 2 in late 2000, a full year before Microsoft and Nintendo shipped their versions. More than 1.5 million Xbox machines have been sold in the United States since they arrived in stores in November. Nintendo has sold more than 2.7 million GameCube consoles worldwide, about half of those in Japan.
GameCube sells for $199 in the United States, while Xbox sells for $299.
In Japan, the PlayStation 2 has been selling for $230. Kutaragi said the machine will now go for an ``open'' price in Japan, meaning it likely will be discounted at some stores.