Oct 13, 2011

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Vita Gets Day One Downloads, Free-to-Play, and Staggered Pricing

Vita Gets Day One Downloads, Free-to-Play, and Staggered Pricing

While promises of a large digital market to coincide with the release of the PSPgo were largely unfounded, Sony seems ready to make do on this vision with the upcoming PlayStation Vita. The PlayStation Store already offers digital versions of certain PS3 titles, and Sony has outlined plans for a major digital content push on the Vita.

Chris Norden, Senior Staff Developer Support Engineer at Sony Computer Entertainment America, confirmed at a GDC Online session earlier today that every game released for the Vita will also receive a digital version on Day One. This means that gamers will always have a choice between a physical game or a digital copy they can install on their system. Interestingly, Norden noted that the PS Store interface on the Vita will be very similar to the PS3′s, and games will not have to be packaged in different file formats by developers – a single format will unify all releases.

In a related note, it seems that free-to-play apps and MMOs may also come to the platform. Norden stated that, while the decision is ultimately up to the publisher, the Vita will fully support the free-to-play model that is rapidly gaining popularity in the PC gaming realm. Under this system, gamers can download, install, and play a game completely free of charge. Microtransactions help support the game over time, with some content being exclusively available (or offered earlier) through small purchases.

In other news, a report issued by Andriasang states that Uncharted: Golden Abyss will retail for 5980 yen ($77), while the digital version will cost 4900 yen ($63). Meanwhile, Hot Shots Golf 6 will cost 4980 yen ($64) at retail and 3980 yen ($52) on the PS Store. Don’t worry about having to pay almost $80 for your Vita games here in the States – video games in Japan are comparatively more expensive. Amazon.com currently puts Vita titles at $39.99 – will digital versions be released for $31.99? Will certain Vita titles cost less at retail than others? Only time will tell, but it’s safe to say the answer won’t be so clear cut.

Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think about the Vita pricing model or the system in general. For updates and breaking news on PlayStation Vita, stay tuned to Vivid Gamer.

[Source: Gamasutra]