Sony is encouraging gamers to purchase PS Vita's 3G model and activate a data plan by offering a free downloadable game, Housemarque's shoot'em up Super Stardust Delta
(and its Blast Pack downloadable content), to consumers.
This promotion is the latest in Sony's efforts to push consumers toward buying the more expensive 3G version of its new handheld ($299 versus the WiFi-only $249 model), such as allowing gamers to receive a 3G PS Vita bundle
a week before the formal launch by putting in a $349 preorder.
The deal, though, requires users to activate one of two monthly 3G data plan options with AT&T before they can get a copy of the game: a $14.99 plan for 250 MB of data, or a $30 plan for 3 GB of data (previously a $25 plan for 2 GB of data, before AT&T revised its pricing
Sony will face several challenges in convincing consumers to invest in the PS Vita when it launches in the West on February 22, as some have criticized the company
for pricing the system (compared to the $169 Nintendo 3DS), its essential memory cards
($19.99-$99.99), and its retail games (mostly $39.99) too high.
Consumers who purchase the WiFi-only PS Vita or decide not to activate a data plan will be able to buy Super Stardust Delta
, which is published by Sony Online Entertainment, from PlayStation Network for $9.99, and its DLC for $8 -- they will be sold together in a $14.99 digital bundle, too.
The Vita has struggled to excite gamers in Japan since its December debut, although a recent survey in consumer magazine Famitsu showed that among its Vita-owning respondents, 59 percent owned the 3G-enabled model.