With the holiday season approaching and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ahead in the console business, Sony’s cutting the price of its PlayStation 3 console.
The entry-level system with a 160 gigabyte hard drive now costs $249, down from $299, and the 320 gig version is $299, down from $349.
Sony announced the cut today, saying the price cut takes effect immediately in North America and Europe and on Aug. 18 in Japan.
Sales of video game hardware plunged 29 percent in July, according to the latest report n U.S. sales from NPD. Weak sales also prompted Nintendo to drop the price of its new 3DS handheld to $170, from $250, on Aug. 12.
But the industry should get a boost from a batch of blockbuster action games being released this fall, including new versions of the “Battlefield” and “Modern Warfare” franchises and platform exclusives such as Sony’s “Uncharted 3” and “Gears of War 3” for the Xbox.
A Microsoft spokesman declined to say whether similar price cuts are coming to the Xbox 360. His statement:
“We don’t talk about our pricing plans in advance, and we’ve made no announcements about price drops. Xbox is the number-one selling console in the U.S. for 13 of the past 14 months, and is showing record growth. With an incredible line-up of games and entertainment, we’re expecting the biggest year in Xbox history as the best-selling console worldwide.”