A stand-alone version of Gran Turismo will be available on UMD and as a digital download on the PlayStation Network on October 1 for $39.99 (MSRP).
This is a shift from Sony’s strategy in Japan, which is selling downloadable versions at a discount. Sony began simultaneously releasing PSP games in stores and on the PlayStation Store in Japan last year. Downloadable versions have always been cheaper there, usually around $10 less. Even third party publishers like Irem are following suit with two tier pricing.
Unfortunately, digital releases of new PSP games cost the same as a boxed game in North America. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona from Atlus will be the first digital/retail release here. It will retail $39.99 in stores and on the PlayStation Store. In addition to getting a UMD, the physical copy of Persona also comes with a two disc soundtrack. It’s easy to see who is getting a better deal.
If Sony is really planning a digital push they should offer an incentive for the downloadable version since it can’t be resold. Well, technically Sony is offering an incentive by discounting downloadable versions, but that’s only for Japan.