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Byline: Mike Musgrove
LOS ANGELES -- After years spent cultivating hardcore gamers who don't blanch at paying top dollar for slick new hardware, the video game industry is now aiming at the rest of the world.
Kazuo Hirai, president and chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment America, proclaimed this is "the year to cultivate the casual gaming market"; in pursuit of that goal, the company cut the price of its PlayStation 2 console to $149.
Meanwhile, Nintendo of America Inc. Senior Vice President of Marketing George Harrison said that his company is aiming at "late adopters" who care mostly about getting a good deal for their entertainment dollar.
And at a press event Monday night, Xbox console maker Microsoft Corp. emphasized new titles for the Xbox Live online service aimed at casual gamers -- …