Sony has confirmed the rumors that have been swirling since last week as well as the release of at least one more first-party PS2 game.
The PlayStation 2 is dropping $30 in price this week to a mere $99, according to a press release this morning from Sony Computer Entertainment of America.
The price drop will go into effect on April 1.
"PlayStation 2 set the industry standard for worldwide mass market adoption and is a clear embodiment of Sony's commitment to platforms that deliver 10-year product lifecycles," SCEA president Jack Tretton said in the release. Sony has cited the 10-year strategy for the PS3 as well, to bolster confidence in that system's long-term fortune.
Sony also confirmed today that PS2 will continue to see new releases, including the upcoming PS2/PSP game "MotorStorm: Arctic Ridge."
The PS2 launched in the U.S. in October 2000 for $299. Sony indicated today that, through December of last year, the console has sold 136 million units into the marketplace. (By comparison, Nintendo announced earlier this month that the Nintendo DS had just sold its 100 millionth unit to consumers after five years on the market).
The system has continued to show viability, selling 131,000 units just last month in the U.S., according to the NPD group. That long-term success of the PS2 has been both a boon to Sony and another indicator of the PlayStation 3's struggle to succeed in the market. Last month, the PS3 sold 276,000 units, according to NPD, more than 100,000 units shy of the Xbox 360 and less than half of the Nintendo Wii. What's notable is that sales of Microsoft and Nintendo's PS2-era consoles aren't even charted anymore. While the Xbox and GameCube have faded to sales irrelevance, the PS2 has remained a market player, not one shut out by its own successor.
The PS2 last dropped in price in April 2006.