Digital preorders require paying the full price of 3,900 yen (approx. $50), which in this case includes bonus content: a dynamic theme and ten PlayStation Network avatars. Sony Computer Entertainment president Shuhei Yoshida broke the news over Twitter, saying he had pre-ordered the game for himself.
Buying and downloading games prior to the release date is common practice in the PC gaming market, as seen with the recent hit Diablo III. But this is a first for consumer game consoles.
Furthermore, Tokyo Jungle is also being released on a Blu-ray disc — yet another case of platforms blurring the line between downloadable games and physical retail games. Sony’s suggested retail price is 4,980 ($63) according the game’s official website, higher than the digital price but much lower than a typical Japanese Blu-ray release. Select retailers will also have exclusive preorder bonuses of their own.
The preorder downloading process is automatic and cannot be triggered manually, which means preorder customers must leave their PlayStation 3 consoles in “standby” mode and wait for the data to arrive on their machines.
Preorder bonuses are not included with the game data nor can they be downloaded in advance. The bonuses, along with other downloadable content such as costumes for the in-game animals, will be available on noon Japan time, June 7.
A Western release of the game has not yet been announced.