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Sony Copies Microsoft with PlayStation PLAY Program

Sony has begun to offer PS3 owners the ability to download games with free bonus DLC goodies using its new PlayStation Network Play program, which apparently is a blatant ripoff of Microsoft’s Xbox Summer of Arcade.

The PlayStation Network Play program, beginning August 23rd, will offer users the opportunity to buy four $14.99 games over a period of four weeks. Titles include Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition, The Baconing, BloodRayne: Betrayal, and Rendegade Ops. If users buy all four, they will receive a free game from Microsoft. The game, Payday: The Heist, runs about $19.99 if you buy it separately. Pre-orders begin August 9th and Plus members will receive an additional 20% discount.

Sony not only offers the free game, but also each game downloaded comes with goodies. Here is a breakdown of what is offered:

When Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition is purchased during the PLAY promotion, purchasers will be able to unlock GILL, the self-proclaimed god, without having to beat the game with every character, as day-one DLC. All pre-orders will also receive a Capcom-produced theme.

When The Baconing is purchased during the PLAY promotion, purchasers will receive an additional co-op character, Roesha – One Bad Mutha. All pre-orders will also receive a static theme, exclusive to PLAY.

When BloodRayne: Betrayal is purchased during the PLAY promotion, purchasers will receive a BloodRayne: Betrayal virtual item for their PlayStation Home avatar and an exclusive dynamic theme.

When Renegade Ops is purchased through PLAY, purchasers will receive a Vehicle & Character Pack with two new vehicles and special weapons. All pre-orders will also receive a static theme, exclusive to PLAY.

Ok, so whats the big deal? Well, it seems that critics are arguing that Play is a direct copy of Microsoft’s fourth-annual Summer of Arcade deal. Microsoft’s “Summer Fun Pack” offers users a free code for a game called “Crimson Alliance” if users buy all four games. Whatever the case may be, both companies are offering great incentives to purchase their content. Its just business and gamers can benefit from it.

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