Just as we're in the midst of Microsoft's Summer of Arcade, Sony is answering with its own multi-game promotion starting later this month. PSN Play will feature a new PlayStation Network release every week for four weeks, and offers a free game as a bonus for collecting all of them.
PlayStation Plus members will get 20% off each of the games, making collecting them all a little easier to swallow for thrifty consumers. Plus, the promotion offers free backgrounds as pre-order incentives, as well as various bonuses for buying during the Play period.
It starts on August 23 with Street Fighter 3rd Strike Online Edition. Buying it through the Play promotion lets you unlock Gill without beating the game with each character, as day-one DLC. DeathSpank: The Baconing follows on August 30, and purchasers receive "Roesha - One Bad Mutha" as a bonus co-op character. Then comes BloodRayne: Betrayal on September 6, complete with a virtual item for PlayStation Home and a dynamic theme. Renegade Ops closes out the promotion on September 13, and includes a Vehicle & Character pack.
Each game is $14.99, and pre-ordering them (starting August 9, with rolling pre-order deadlines) will net you a free static theme for each. If you collect them all, you'll get a voucher code for Payday: The Heist when it releases on September 20. Everyone else will have to pay $19.99 for the privilege. Keep in mind, to qualify for the free game you need to be age 18 or older, and make all your purchases by September 19.
The promotion is obviously taking some cues from Microsoft, and the games don't appear to be timed exclusives as per the Summer of Arcade policy. But Sony is presenting some of its own unique ideas with this promotion. Offering discounts for Plus-level subscribers, bonus content for each game, and the ability to pre-order are all welcome additions to the promotional formula. Sony is presenting this as the first of an annual promotion, and it seems to be starting off on the right foot.