Sony computer entertainment America have unveiled plans to extend their PS1 game discount scheme to Playstation 2. The scheme has been named Greatest Hits and will involve a discount of up to 50% on games at least nine months old and which have sold at least 400,000 copies. These titles will be made available for an average price of US$24.99.
Analysts and third party developers suggest that this move comes as a prelude to more widespread price cuts, which will involve reductions in more recent games and on the PS2 console itself.
This must certainly be bad news for XBox since Microsoft relies heavily on XBox title sales for profit rather than on hardware sales. The XBox is expected to start making money in 2003.
The Press Release
At its second annual retail and publishers conference, "Destination PlayStation," Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. today announced the launch of a "Greatest Hits" series on PlayStation 2, a line-up of game titles proven to be all-time favorites on the platform. Following the lead of its market driving "Greatest Hits" collection on the original PlayStation, the company expects this new initiative to significantly contribute to category growth and overall software sales when it is introduced April 1 through retail outlets nationwide.
After an extraordinary holiday selling season in 2001, in which more than 3 million PlayStation 2 units were sold in a 60-day period, consumers demonstrated their overwhelming support and loyalty to the PlayStation brand. With the introduction of this new "Greatest Hits" series, the power of the PlayStation 2 experience becomes attractive to an even broader audience as top-of-the-line games become impulse purchases at an expected manufacturers suggested retail price of $24.99.
To be included in the PlayStation 2 "Greatest Hits" series, a title must meet two key criteria: sales must be in excess of 400,000 units and the title must have been on the market for more than nine months. Initial offerings from Sony Computer Entertainment America will include such titles as ATV Offroad FuryÔ , Gran TurismoÔ 3 A-spec, Twisted Metal:BlackÔ , Dark CloudÔ . These four titles have become bona fide hits on PlayStation 2 with combined unit sales of more than 2.8 million.
"With an installed hardware base of 8.6 million units, and a cumulative software-to-hardware tie ratio of 4.5 to 1, we have outperformed original category and general business expectations with PlayStation 2 during its first year on the market," said Andrew House, senior vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "We are proud of the fact that with our publishing partners, we collectively have been able to deliver the most impressive, compelling gaming experience to millions of enthusiasts around the world. The new "Greatest Hits" collection provides an incentive for new gamers to purchase PlayStation 2 and core gamers to add classic titles to their existing libraries.
"Historically, we have always taken a very consumer-centric approach to the market," added House. "We are focused on presenting users with the best entertainment experience at compelling prices, further extending the PlayStation 2 value proposition by consistently passing on savings to the consumer. With such strong software support for PlayStation 2 we now are able to offer must-have games for around $25."
In addition to the four inaugural titles from Sony Computer Entertainment America, the company and its numerous publishing partners are planning additional "Greatest Hits" releases throughout the course of the year. Each title selected for "Greatest Hits" status must reach the pre-defined criteria and will be included at the discretion of the individual publisher. Pricing may vary per manufacturer