Sony Cuts Cost of PlayStation 3 as Sales Slide

The top-selling games console will retail for $249.

COLOGNE, Germany -- Sony Computer Entertainment has slashed the cost of its top-selling games console, the PlayStation 3, chopping the retail price to $249.

Andrew House, Sony Computer Entertainment's newly minted CEO, announced the move in Cologne at the company's press conference Tuesday ahead of European confab Gamescom.

Sony is obviously hoping lowering the price will help revive sales of its top-end console. Sony sold just 1.8 million PS3 units in the first quarter of this year, down from 2.4 million over the same period in 2010. Confidence in the PS3 also took a hit after the hacking of the PlayStation Network in April which shut down the network for several days.

Sony is also counting on its new portable device, the WiFi and mobile capable PlayStation Vita, to boost sales. But the Vita's release has been delayed and won't hit stores in the U.S. and Europe until early next year, after the crucial holiday season.

To bridge the gap until Vita's bow, Sony announced it will cut the price of its entry level PlayStation Portable device to $99. Sony's announcement follows a similar move by competitor Nintendo, which last month slashed the price of its portable 3DS device.