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Sony dropping PSP price to $129

The PlayStation Portable will be $40 cheaper and cost the same as the Nintendo DS Lite, which dominates the portable-gaming market.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Sony's PSP

Sony has substantially cut the price of its PlayStation Portable.

Starting Sunday, consumers can get their hands on the portable-gaming device for $129.99--the same price as the Nintendo DS Lite. The PSP currently sells for $169.99.

In addition, Sony has added 13 titles, including Assassin's Creed Bloodlines and Dissidia Final Fantasy, to its "Greatest Hits" and "Favorites" lines of games. Titles in the Greatest Hits list will retail for $19.99, while titles in the Favorites line will go for $9.99.

Sony has shipped 23 million PSP units to the U.S. and 67.8 million units worldwide since the device launched in 2005. North American customers have a catalog of 590 games, the company said today.

The decision to drop the price may result from Sony's diminishing sales of the device over the past year. Sales in the U.S. have been easily overshadowed by Nintendo's DS, the leader in the mobile-gaming space.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter reported last week that he believes Sony sold just 80,000 PSP units in the U.S. last month, down 20 percent from January 2010. Last August, the final month in which market researcher NPD publicly reported hardware sales figures, Sony sold just 79,400 PSP units. It had sold 140,300 PSP units in August 2009.

The PSP has also let down video game retailer GameStop. Bob McKenzie, the retailer's senior vice president of merchandising and marketing, said late last year that the number of titles released for the PSP in 2010 was a "disappointment."

In an attempt to change its luck in the mobile market, Sony unveiled the Next Generation Portable in January. The device is a follow-up to the PSP and includes dual thumbsticks, 3G connectivity, a touch screen, and two cameras. It also comes with an improved display over that of the current PSP. Sony said at the time that the platform would feature PlayStation 3-like graphical capability.

The new device is scheduled to launch at year's end.