99

What is it with the number 99? Whether it be 99¢ or $99, there seems to be an attraction to the number. For the US, I understand it to be more related to taxes. But somehow through the years, one is more predisposed to buying an item that costs $99 than let’s say if it were priced at an even $100. Even if the difference was just a penny.

Which brings me to the “magical” $99 console.

Back when I wasn’t earning much and could only afford one console, the obvious choice was the PS2. I had wanted a Gamecube because of such innovative games such as Pikmin and Animal Crossing but it was just out of my budget. Then came the near holiday announcement of Nintendo in 2003 that they would be dropping the price of the console to $99. I then immediately went on Amazon and bought one. When the PS1 went down to $99, I got one as a back up to my existing console.

And now, the best selling console so far, the PS2 has entered into it’s twilight years into the magical 99 dollar price tag. Gaming sites have called the price drop, “on the wrong console”, and others, just a shrug. They already own one. Or two.

My take on the whole thing? They should’ve dropped the prices last year. The writing was on the wall that the PS2 wasn’t selling as well as it used to. Most game development for the PS2 has either shifted to the PS3 or to other consoles. Not to mention that the PS3 didn’t do so well last year compared to it’s competitors.

It’s never too late to drop prices on their products. It might have done them more good if they dropped the PSP to $99 as well. That would’ve made more sense since the DSi is coming out in North America in a couple of weeks.

As for the PS3 dropping to $99, that’ll be the day.

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