UMD Passport Program Not Coming to America

We have bad news for those people who were expecting to transfer their old UMD titles to the upcoming Vita. According to multiple sources, this feature won’t be coming to America and PSP users won’t be able to transfer their physical media to Sony’s new handheld. This would indicate that the feature is only available in Japan, where about 200 games will eventually be supported.

Recently, Sony announced an upcoming UMD passport program that (at least in Japan) allows PSP owners to scan their discs on the portable console with a special software, register the product online and once ownership is checked (Sony never explained how they were planning on doing this last part,) users are able to download the game on the PlayStation Vita, for a small fee of course. In Japan, transfer fees range from ¥1,000 (around $13) to ¥2,400 ($31) depending on the title.

Although this seemed like a great idea at first (mainly because transferring titles was ultimately cheaper than buying a brand new copy,) the fact that Sony couldn’t set a unique price for all the games made the program quite inconsistent. It should also be noted that many PSP games aren’t available on PSN, including Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Lumines, among many others. Additionally, not every game that is available on PSN was part of the passport program, limiting its use. Yes, the conversion process seems extremely convoluted, but at the same time, I can’t think of a better method to convert UMDs into digital copies.

Nevertheless and fortunately for those who want to get a Vita but are concerned about backward compatibility, Sony has confirmed that all those titles that were purchased on PlayStation Network (including PSP Games, Minis and PS One Classics) will definitely be compatible with the Vita.

Finally, here is Sony’s official announcement on the matter: “SCEA will not be offering the UMD Passport program. U.S. consumers who already own digital versions of select PSP titles will be able to seamlessly transfer those games to their PS Vita system. What’s great for PS Vita owners is that they can enjoy PSP games with upscaled video quality that’s ideal for the system’s 5-inch OLED screen, along with controls that are optimized for its features such as the dual analog sticks. More than 250 PSP titles (including minis) will be available at the launch of PS Vita, and hundreds of additional titles will be available post-launch.”

The PS Vita is launching in North America on February 22. For more information about launch titles please read this article.

Source: GiantBomb

Original report published by Kotaku