As Stephen surmised yesterday, Sony has dropped the price of the PlayStation 2 to $99.99. The price is effective starting tomorrow, April 1, 2009. On the PlayStation Blog, John Koller, director of hardware marketing, said:
For enthusiast gamers, this isn't tremendous news. Most of you already have PlayStation 2 consoles or a PlayStation 3 with backwards compatibility. For the mainstream market, this is a big deal. Shoppers will be attracted to the sub-$100 price point of the PS2. Not everyone can afford a $400 or $500 console; for many consumers, $99 is a much more reasonable price for entertainment.
There seems to be a disconnect between developers, retailers, and Sony. Some of the developers I chatted with during GDC 2009 mentioned that retailers told them that shelf space for the PS2 was going to be cut soon. This caused developers to cancel PS2 versions of their games. At $99, the PS2 is bound to be popular for the remainder of the year, so those developers are probably thinking, "Oops."
If you happen to own a PS3 without backwards compatibility, are you going to snatch up a PS2 at the new price point? Think you'll pick one up as a gift for a friend, in hopes that the $99 PS2 will lead them to a lifelong gaming habit?