Thank heavens for additional tracks

From what we’ve played of Ridge Racer on the PlayStation Vita, it’s a solid entry into the franchise. But the game’s slender content offering has (rightfully) prompted some fierce vitriol from fans of the drift-heavy series. With just three tracks and a handful of cars on offer out of the box, the game’s a tough proposition – even with its slashed price-point. Thankfully, Namco’s got a solution.

The publisher’s announced that all first-run copies of the game – available alongside the PlayStation Vita’s launch on 22nd February – will come bundled with a Ridge Racer Gold Pass. Said pass will grant free access to five additional cars, three extra courses, two music tracks and an extended “music mix”.

If you’re buying the game digitally then you’ll still get access to the extra content, provided you download the game before March 1st. Beyond that the Gold Pass will run you €6.99 (£5.85).

In April, Namco will introduce an additional DLC pack which will grant players with a further injection of content for €5.99 (£5.00). Assuming you pick up both packs, you should have a pretty complete game.

We suppose that given Ridge Racer is the cheapest game available at the PS Vita’s launch, the DLC model makes sense – with the game not costing much more than a standard release once you’ve purchased all of the DLC. We just think Namco’s gone about this the wrong way. The publisher seems caught between two business models – it should have gone either freemium or traditional, but where it’s at now is a confusing mix between the two.

In other news, Namco's also announced a PlayStation Vita application that will launch alongside the handheld and include demos for each of its launch titles. Games include Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen and Touch My Katamari.