As expected, not a Japanese-only thing
Confirmation from our sources in the Land of the Rising Sun is that some PlayStation Vita titles will be using the Online Pass for online game play. When we first heard this, we were more than a bit puzzled and wondered if this was a Japanese-only thing that was being tested.
The answer is “No” – at least two titles do include an Online Pass code. The two titles that we know of are Hot Shots Golf and Wipeout 2048. Apparently, none of the other current U.S. PlayStation Vita releases are using the Online Pass. By the way, in case you are wondering, you can buy the Online pass in the U.S. PlayStation Store for $10 if you happen to buy a used copy.
With sales not exactly setting the world on fire for the PlayStation Vita, we are a bit surprised at this strategy so early in the life of the Vita. We would think Sony might want the unit to get a bit more established before pulling out the Online Pass thing, but apparently not.
Sony is said to be spending $50 million (yes, you read that correctly) on marketing for the PlayStation Vita. This will include commercials, billboards, retail deals, online ads, and even a Twitter campaign. That is some serious coin to invest, and it makes this one of the largest spends for a platform launch. Our prediction is that despite this kind of promotion, it may not help sell the Vita.