Sony to Bolster PSPgo Sales with Free Games

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In a ploy to woo handheld gamers vexed with Sony for the PSPgo's sticker shock, the company's apparently planning to offer 10 free full game downloads to anyone registering their handheld after April 1, 2010.

MCV says games in the deal include 2010 FIFA World Cup, Gran Turismo, Grand Theft Auto, and LittleBigPlanet. The news follows Sony's announcement of 'PSP Essentials' earlier this month, a budget lineup of back catalogue games including titles like Daxter, Patapon 2, LocoRoco, and Ratcher & Clank: Size Matters.

"On PSPgo we've decided to innovate with that particular business model," Sony Computer Entertainment UK sales director Mark Howsen told MCV. "Next month we're launching a free ten game offer. And this isn't just older titles--we've worked with third parties and there's some really good core products."

"We're using it as a method to drive the hardware as well by making the whole proposition much more appealing."

It's about time. Sony's PSPgo (PCW Score: 2.5 out of 5) debuted with fewer features than its full-sized UMD-based big brother, but a price tag 47 percent higher ($250 vs. $170). That's madness. The company's basically telling existing owners to pay $250 up front plus the cost to repurchase games already owned in UMD format, while frightening off casual gamers with less geek-friendly budgets, who'll opt instead for Nintendo's cheaper, family-friendlier DSi. Slack PSP sales would seem to favor my position on the matter, though the company's recently fingered software piracy as the chief culprit, a claim--whether true or false--made without evidence.

If you figure $10-15 a game, 10 games for nothing certainly makes the $250 price pill easier to swallow. And if you bought your PSPgo a while back, I'm assuming you qualify for the incentive as long as you haven't registered it.

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