If you've been neglecting the Playstation Network's downloadable offerings, then perhaps you'd like to drop by and take a gander at the Playstation Store's wares in the coming weeks as the first annual PSN P event kicks off. Beginning August 9, the Play lineup will highlight four new action games hitting the Network in the coming weeks, along with a few gifts thrown in for good measure.
Users who preorder any of the Play games will receive a free PS3 theme per preorder. "Hey, Kotaku!" you say, "Just how do I preorder a digital game? It's not I'm having it shipped to my house! " To which I would say that you were quite correct, and perhaps the word "preorder" is a bit of a misnomer (and it's not even proper English! But that's my own petty qualm). Maybe "preorder" in this instance should be, "deposit some money before hand and promise that you'll buy the game", and it's only called "preordering" because that's the name they gave the shiny new button on the PlayStation Store allowing you to do this.
Also worth noting, is that each game comes with its own unique gift for purchasing during the promotion that you'll only get for buying on day one, detailed below. In addtion, Playstation Plus members get these titles for 20% off. And if you buy all four, you'll get PAYDAY: The Heist absolutely free. Just make sure you turn eighteen first.
August 23: Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition – This highly-anticipated action-fighting title from Capcom features 20 playable characters, HD graphics, more than 200 pieces of unlockable content, more than 100 trials and more than 100 challenges. When Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition is purchased through PLAY, purchasers will be able to unlock GILL, the self-proclaimed god, without having to beat the game with every character, as day-one DLC. Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition will be $14.99 and will be available for pre-order through August 18. The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition "T" for "TEEN."
August 30: The Baconing – The latest action-RPG title from Hothead Games features the popular hero, DeathSpank, in an attempt to defeat the Anti-Spank and his army of Cyborques before they cast an evil shadow over Spanktopia. Discover exciting new worlds and battle hordes of enemies as you search to unlock the secret within the Fires of Bacon. When The Baconing is purchased through PLAY, purchasers will receive an additional co-op character, Roesha – One Bad Mutha. The Baconing will be $14.99 and will be available for pre-order through August 25. The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates The Baconing "T" for "TEEN."
September 6: BloodRayne: Betrayal™ – This 2D side-scrolling platformer from Majesco Entertainment features 15 bloodthirsty levels where Rayne attempts to infiltrate a treacherous castle, take out a fiendish horde and stop an evil vampire massacre. When BloodRayne: Betrayal is purchased through PLAY, purchasers will receive a BloodRayne: Betrayal virtual item for their PlayStation®Home avatar and an exclusive dynamic theme. BloodRayne: Betrayal will be $14.99 and will be available for pre-order through September 1. The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates BloodRayne: Betrayal "T" for "TEEN."
September 13: Renegade Ops – This top-down, driving shooter from SEGA features a huge variety of vehicles, guns and endless enemies. The game features Sandbox-style missions, so there are many different ways to play. When Renegade Ops is purchased through PLAY, purchasers will receive a Vehicle & Character Pack with two new vehicles and special weapons. Renegade Ops will be $14.99 and will be available for pre-order through September 8. The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Renegade Ops "RP" for "Rating Pending."
Bonus Gift: PAYDAY: The Heist – This gritty, first-person shooter from Sony Online Entertainment lets players take on the role of a hardened career criminal executing intense, dynamic heists in constant pursuit of the next "big score." A voucher code for PAYDAY: The Heist will be provided as a bonus gift to players, ages 18 and older, that purchased all four PLAY titles, for redemption when the game releases. The game can also be pre-ordered separately starting September 20, 2011. PAYDAY: The Heist will be $19.99. The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates PAYDAY: The Heist "RP" for "Rating Pending."
All in all, is this a sweet deal from Sony—or even that appealing coming right off the heels of XBLA's Summer of Arcade? Unlike XBLA's summer promo, none of the four marquee titles are system exclusives, and at press time, only Street Fighter 3 is confirmed to hit the PSN first—but only a day before. Is the focus on action titles scratching an itch somewhere for you? Sound off and let us know what you think— I personally have yet to try a Deathspank game (though I've always wanted to), and I'll probably pick up Street Fighter 3 (on the PSN a day before XBLA) because I'm pretty sure they can't update it any more than this. In accordance with this line of thinking, I plan to purchase whatever version of Street Fighter IV is available when Street Fighter V comes out.