PlayStation responds to Xbox Summer of Arcade

PlayStation has come up with an alternative to the Xbox 360's annual download promotion: a four-game fest on the PlayStation 3's download store called PlayStation Network PLAY, with a fifth free for big spenders.

The first four titles are Street Fighter III, The Baconing, BloodRayne: Betrayal and Renegade Ops, with Payday: The Heist closing out the lineup and given free to those who bought the four previous downloads.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike was a staple of fighting genre aficionados for years, and the Online Edition adds slick netcode for multiplayer match-ups. August 23, $15 / €15.

The Baconing closes out the DeathSpank trilogy by flinging the game's big-headed, jocular medieval knight into a nuclear catastrophe. Released August 30, $15 / €13.

BloodRayne: Betrayal turned heads at the E3 expo, with a side-scrolling beat-em-up franchise remix from the team behind the highly rated Contra 4 and A Boy and His Blob. September 3, $15 / €13.

Renegade Ops is a hectic, explosion-obsessed, top-down multiplayer action game from the Just Cause 2 studio. September 13, $15 / €13.

Payday: The Heist was another E3 surprise, tasking teams of four with increasingly audacious bank jobs, and is the one title exclusive to PS3. October 4, $20 / €TBA.

There's a 20% discount on all five for subscribers to the PlayStation Plus scheme, plus PS3 background themes for those who pre-order games a week or more before their release.

Note that the €15 and €13 price points usually equate to £12 and £10, while release dates for the EU and Australasia will be a day later than the North American timings given above.

Microsoft's own Summer of Arcade started on July 20 and runs until August 17, with Crimson Alliance offered free to those who buy each of the featured five: Bastion, From Dust, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Fruit Ninja Kinect and Toy Soldiers: Cold War.

For more on PSN Play, check the PlayStation blogs at and