Though Sony’s next handheld is months away for most of the world, Japanese gamers will get their hands on the PlayStation Vita in a matter of weeks. With a launch scheduled for December 17, most of the launch games are priced normally for Japan, though Ridge Racer was actually a little cheaper. Now we’ve got some idea why the price is so low, as Andriasang uncovered that the game will have just five cars and three racetracks. But don’t worry; you can always pay to download more.
Priced at 3980 Yen or $51.93 (cheap by Japanese standards) and the download version will be available for 2,980 Yen, but that low price equals less content. Not only do five cars seem like an especially small number, but the three racetracks (Harborline 765, Highland Cliffs and Southbay Docks) are all reused from previous iterations of the series. To fill out the game, Namco will be selling new content on the PlayStation Store this December.
Namco Bandai’s defense is that they wanted to lower the price so the online portion of the game will fill up faster. It’s a logical defense, but it’s hard for it not to come off as a cheap ploy to make more money off DLC similar to how “free-to-play” MMOs stay so profitable. So far this situation has only been confirmed for the Japanese release, so we’ll see if the publisher repeats this trend February 22 when the game and Vita launch in the US and UK.