Splinter Cell: Conviction CE cheapened by defective USB drives

"Random sampling" of stealth action game collector's edition found to contain nonfunctional bonus-content memory devices; Ubisoft lowers price of premium package to $70 as a result.

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The good news: The collector's edition of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction just got cheaper. The limited version of the game had originally been priced at $80, but publisher Ubisoft today decided to lop off $10 from its suggested retail price of $80. (The game is also available as a $60 stand-alone product or packed inside a $400 250GB Xbox 360 Elite bundle.)

Bonus: Any defective Splinter Cell: Conviction USB drives can be used as paperweights for very small scraps of paper.
Bonus: Any defective Splinter Cell: Conviction USB drives can be used as paperweights for very small scraps of paper.

The bad news: There's a reason for the last-minute discount. Ubisoft reps informed GameSpot that a "random sampling" found that many of the USB drives included with the Splinter Cell: Conviction collector's editions are defective. A representative for the publisher emphasized that not all USB drives included in the package had problems but declined to say what percentage would not work properly. The rep also declined to say what exactly is wrong with the USB drives, saying, "We do not have that information at this time."

The somewhat better news: Details on how to receive the bonus content included on defective USB drives in the Splinter Cell: Conviction collector's editions will be available on the game's official Web site on Thursday, April 15. The drives were to include a variety of content, including a "making of" video feature, wallpaper, concept art, storyboards, and more information on the game's development.

Ubisoft emphasized that no other part of the Splinter Cell: Conviction CE is defective, including--first and foremost--the game itself. The package also includes an art book titled Fifth Freedom: The Art of Splinter Cell, a pair of decals, a prequel comic book called Digging in the Ashes, and special box art.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction will be released for the Xbox 360 on Tuesday, April 13, with a PC version to follow two weeks later. The game, which has suffered several delays, is rated M for Mature in the US and Canada.

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