Power Button - Episode 58: Kombo Reunion
Walmart Makes A Mockery Of 3DS Ambassador Program

Sony Announces Annual PSN Play Program

PSN Play 

I bet that you woke up this morning and said to yourself, "Self, how can I buy a few games that I don't really want in order to get a free game that may or may not be worth the trouble?"  Sony has you covered in your quest to burn a few dollars with its new PSN Play program.  Taking heavy cues from Microsoft's Summer of Arcade promotion on Xbox Live, PSN Play offers four new downloadable titles at $14.99 each that when purchased prior to September 19, 2011 entitle customers to a voucher good for a free fifth game.  Additionally, each of the four games offered come with free day-one downloadable expansions and other little goodies.  Is it worth it?  Here's the PlayStation Blog with the overall summary:

We’re excited to introduce a new PlayStation Network event: PLAY. PLAY is a brand-new annual program, where we’re bringing you four of the season’s hottest PlayStation Network action titles. With every purchase of a PLAY title in the PlayStation Store throughout the duration of the program, you’ll receive a separate piece of DLC for each game, plus a new theme with every pre-order. If these incentives aren’t enough, if you’re 18 years or older and purchase all four PLAY titles in the PlayStation Store, you’ll get a voucher code for PAYDAY: The Heist as a bonus gift. And, PlayStation Plus subscribers will get an automatic 20% off every purchase.  Pre-orders will be available for all four PLAY titles starting next week on August 9 in the PlayStation Store. Remember, in order to qualify to receive PAYDAY: The Heist as a bonus gift, your purchases must be made by September 19, 2011.

The four titles in the program are Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition, The Baconing, Bloodrayne: Betrayal, and Renegade Ops.  If you were already planning on buying all four, then PSN Play is a wonderful bonus for you.  As for me, I was planning on picking up Street Fighter and maybe Bloodrayne if the reviews pan out (I liked what I saw of the game back at E3 when it was a nonplayable demo), but the other two don't particularly interest me and I'm not inclined to toss $30 away in order to score a $20 voucher.  That's the other thing to take note of here, by the way.  If you don't have a voucher, then Payday costs $19.99.  Is that a new high for a downloadable exclusive title on PSN?  Can we as a community reject that high of a price point before it's too late and other new games debut at that price?  Somehow I can't shake the feeling that PSN Play is a sneaky way to drive up the number of downloads for Payday which would help show that customers want to pay $19.99 for a downloadable title.  If that's the case, please do your part to not let that happen.