The news that Ridge Racer will only launch with three courses and five cars attracted some raised eyebrows, but for Namco Bandai it's all part of a bigger plan: a plan that will see the game milked for all its worth increase its value proposition over the coming months.

We should also point out that Ridge Racer will cost significantly less than many other Vita games: it'll sell for ¥3980 instead of the usual ¥4980.

Famitsu reports the Japanese DLC schedule as follows:

December 22: Visual Demo Appli, Music Pack 1 R4#1 and Music Pack 2 R4#2. These are all free. The Visual Demo Appli is the playable demo that was shown at E3 2011. The music packs include music from R4.

January 12: Music Pack 3 Ridge Racer V #1, Music Pack 4 Ridge Racers #1 — Free (Ridge Racers is the name of the first PSP Ridge Racer game)

January 19: Music Pack 5 Ridge Racers #2 — Free

January 26: Music Pack 6 Ridge Racers #3 — Free

February 2: Music Pack 7 Ridge Racer 6 #1 — Free

February 9: Music Pack 8 Ridge Racer 6 #2 — Free

February 16: Ridge Racer Pass. Priced ¥1,600, this lets you purchase all the download content that will be released between February and May. Through February 29, this will be discounted to ¥1,000.

February 23: Car 1 Promessa, priced ¥250, and Course 1 Old Central, priced ¥400. These two will be free through February 29. Also due on the 23rd is Music Pack 10 Ridge Racer 7 #1, also free.

March 3: Cars 2 to 4, priced ¥250 each, and Course 2 and 3, priced ¥400 each. Music Pack 11 to 15, available for free. A "Medley" will also be released, priced ¥100.

April to May: Cars 5 to 8, priced ¥250 each, and Course 4 to 6 priced ¥400, Music Pack 16 to 19 free, and New Song Pack 2 and Medley 2 for ¥100 each.

That's eight extra cars and six extra courses for a total of 13 vehicles and nine tracks. Buying all the cars and courses individually will cost you a whopping ¥4,400 — that's around £36 or $56.

A cheaper option would be to grab the Ridge Racer Pass on 16th February, which entitles you to all the extra cars and courses for a discounted rate of ¥1,600 (£13/$20), or ¥1,000 (£8/$12) if you purchase the pass before 29th February. Quite a saving, we think you'll agree.

[via andriasang.com]