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126 Comments

Sony Introduces UMD-to-Digital Program, But It’ll Cost You

Games will cost different amounts of money to make the digital transition.

Sony’s been talking about giving PSP owners a way to turn their physical UMDs into digital games, but after PSP go failed to light the world on fire, Sony shelved the concept. With Vita around the corner, the idea resurfaced, and now it’s happening.

The company is calling this service, at least in Japan, “UMD Passport.” You download a program from the PlayStation Store, insert a UMD featured in Sony’s list, register the game with PlayStation Network, pay a certain amount (it changes per game) to access a digital copy, and download away.

As mentioned, there is not a flat fee to purchase a digital version, and it appears that will be up to individual publishers to determine. Sony’s press release says the prices will be “reasonable,” and with one exception, the price mostly hovers between 500 yen (about $6.50) to 1,500 yen (about $20).

A comparable program has not been announced for anywhere outside of Japan, and it’s unclear how Sony would prevent players from handing a single UMD around, but those details will come later.

Publishers are not forced to participate in the program, either, though Sony’s announcement says major companies like Capcom, Sega, Square Enix and others are making their games available.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
126 Comments
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Posted by lokilaufey

@Hawk456 said:

There is already a similar program out there already at no additional cost ... it's called "Play your PSP games on your PSP"

That's the program I plan on using!

Posted by TWiSTEDmerc

I suppose it's worth charging something if they re-route the camera with a second analog stick, update the graphics + sound, and make it playable on the console.   These are Japan prices if or when it comes to America, I'd say expect between $2 - $10 (maybe they'll even make some free). America is a bigger market and I know we all hate high pricing for little; if you compared this to other options of the same kind of thing, you'd easily see these foreign prices are overpriced.

Posted by Shisnopi

Backwards Compatibility is only important for the first year or so because there aren't that many good games.

From the looks of the vita, that shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by SolidSnake35

Why pay to play it on the Vita when you already have a PSP to play it on? O_O

Edited by NaCl

@SolidSnake35: For the day your PSP dies on you and they no longer make them?

So you don't have to carry around 2 systems?

/shrug

Posted by PenguinDust

$6 to $20 is a huge margin. I can't imagine it will be that wide in the West. In Japan, games tend to vary in price by title, while there's pretty much a single retail price for new games in North America, so I can't help but think the same will happen again.

Edited by Vexxan

Maybe a bit too pricey but I'm glad they're setting up this service at all. 

Posted by Protome

If Capcom would put Megaman Powered Up onto the PSN Store, I'd pay full price for it nevermind getting a discount from my UMD.

Posted by Curufinwe

@piderman said:

@Curufinwe said:

@KaneRobot said:

@mariokart64fan said:

why are people complaining about getting a digital copy for free, you are not entitled to that, just play the game for the system you bought it for ,

Probably because this isn't 2007 anymore and companies should be far more open to letting users who have purchased their products play it across advancing platforms when the technology is there, which it clearly is here. Nintendo is by far the worst offender at the moment but clearly Sony hasn't gotten the message either.

If you think Microsoft is going to give you free digital licenses to all your disc-based 360 games when the next Xbox comes out you're mistaken. None of the console makers can force publishers to give away their games for free. That's the message you need to get.

Except the next system is still using discs and might very well be able to play X360 games. The Vita can't hold discs so you have to hold on to the old system then. And who is giving away games for free? We have paid for the games, we just want em on a different medium. It's the same bullshit as VHS/DVD/BD all over again.

You really are clueless if you think buying a console or handheld game on a disc or cartridge automatically entitles you to a digital version of it for free.

Posted by MeatSim

The prices are a little to high for my taste.

Posted by captain_clayman

5 should be max.

Posted by Vrikk

This isn't worth the price. Just keep your PSP if you already have one.

Posted by Napalm

@Curufinwe said:

@piderman said:

@Curufinwe said:

@KaneRobot said:

@mariokart64fan said:

why are people complaining about getting a digital copy for free, you are not entitled to that, just play the game for the system you bought it for ,

Probably because this isn't 2007 anymore and companies should be far more open to letting users who have purchased their products play it across advancing platforms when the technology is there, which it clearly is here. Nintendo is by far the worst offender at the moment but clearly Sony hasn't gotten the message either.

If you think Microsoft is going to give you free digital licenses to all your disc-based 360 games when the next Xbox comes out you're mistaken. None of the console makers can force publishers to give away their games for free. That's the message you need to get.

Except the next system is still using discs and might very well be able to play X360 games. The Vita can't hold discs so you have to hold on to the old system then. And who is giving away games for free? We have paid for the games, we just want em on a different medium. It's the same bullshit as VHS/DVD/BD all over again.

You really are clueless if you think buying a console or handheld game on a disc or cartridge automatically entitles you to a digital version of it for free.

The guy above you has a fucked up definition of "free". According to him, he should be entitled to free copies of a specific game published on every system thereafter. So if he buys a DVD of a movie, he should be entitled to a free copy to be released on every following player/format. Yeah, you're totally not asking for free copies.

Posted by BionicRadd

@Napalm said:

@Curufinwe said:

@piderman said:

@Curufinwe said:

@KaneRobot said:

@mariokart64fan said:

why are people complaining about getting a digital copy for free, you are not entitled to that, just play the game for the system you bought it for ,

Probably because this isn't 2007 anymore and companies should be far more open to letting users who have purchased their products play it across advancing platforms when the technology is there, which it clearly is here. Nintendo is by far the worst offender at the moment but clearly Sony hasn't gotten the message either.

If you think Microsoft is going to give you free digital licenses to all your disc-based 360 games when the next Xbox comes out you're mistaken. None of the console makers can force publishers to give away their games for free. That's the message you need to get.

Except the next system is still using discs and might very well be able to play X360 games. The Vita can't hold discs so you have to hold on to the old system then. And who is giving away games for free? We have paid for the games, we just want em on a different medium. It's the same bullshit as VHS/DVD/BD all over again.

You really are clueless if you think buying a console or handheld game on a disc or cartridge automatically entitles you to a digital version of it for free.

The guy above you has a fucked up definition of "free". According to him, he should be entitled to free copies of a specific game published on every system thereafter. So if he buys a DVD of a movie, he should be entitled to a free copy to be released on every following player/format. Yeah, you're totally not asking for free copies.

one thing he has right, it's EXACTLY like VHS/DVD/BD in that if you want it on the new format, you gotta pay up some money.

Posted by Norusdog

@VicRattlehead said:

the price should be free.... fucking clowns

this*OVER9000!

anyway..yah..this "service" should be free..or at the very least cost a small fee for the program itself that has the ability to do it to any game you want at any time. fucking pathetic they're trying to milk all they can to those that actually fucking supported the damn system. great job as always sony

Posted by prestonhedges

@Napalm said:

@Curufinwe said:

@piderman said:

@Curufinwe said:

@KaneRobot said:

@mariokart64fan said:

why are people complaining about getting a digital copy for free, you are not entitled to that, just play the game for the system you bought it for ,

Probably because this isn't 2007 anymore and companies should be far more open to letting users who have purchased their products play it across advancing platforms when the technology is there, which it clearly is here. Nintendo is by far the worst offender at the moment but clearly Sony hasn't gotten the message either.

If you think Microsoft is going to give you free digital licenses to all your disc-based 360 games when the next Xbox comes out you're mistaken. None of the console makers can force publishers to give away their games for free. That's the message you need to get.

Except the next system is still using discs and might very well be able to play X360 games. The Vita can't hold discs so you have to hold on to the old system then. And who is giving away games for free? We have paid for the games, we just want em on a different medium. It's the same bullshit as VHS/DVD/BD all over again.

You really are clueless if you think buying a console or handheld game on a disc or cartridge automatically entitles you to a digital version of it for free.

The guy above you has a fucked up definition of "free". According to him, he should be entitled to free copies of a specific game published on every system thereafter. So if he buys a DVD of a movie, he should be entitled to a free copy to be released on every following player/format. Yeah, you're totally not asking for free copies.

Yeah, it's not like they include free digital copies with movies on Blu-Ray/DVD. Pffft. Nice argument.

Posted by Napalm

@gladspooky said:

@Napalm said:

@Curufinwe said:

@piderman said:

Except the next system is still using discs and might very well be able to play X360 games. The Vita can't hold discs so you have to hold on to the old system then. And who is giving away games for free? We have paid for the games, we just want em on a different medium. It's the same bullshit as VHS/DVD/BD all over again.

You really are clueless if you think buying a console or handheld game on a disc or cartridge automatically entitles you to a digital version of it for free.

The guy above you has a fucked up definition of "free". According to him, he should be entitled to free copies of a specific game published on every system thereafter. So if he buys a DVD of a movie, he should be entitled to a free copy to be released on every following player/format. Yeah, you're totally not asking for free copies.

Yeah, it's not like they include free digital copies with movies on Blu-Ray/DVD. Pffft. Nice argument.

Flimsy argument. Including digital copies is standard, but what they don't include is a transferable license to the contents on the disc to undisclosed future formats, which, the "on a different medium" comment from whoever-said-it above certainly implies you'd want a transferable license.

Edited by sate2801

if clearfx's currency converter didn't fool me, 500~1500 yen is around $50~$150 hkd.

new titles are around 300~500 here in hong kong, 200~300 if second handed

charging up to half of the game's price to get it work on Vita sounds...outrageous

Posted by mariokart64fan

no thanks ill stick with my psp

Posted by DrMcKittrick

The price is cheap compared to how Nintendo is going to rape us when we want to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 in HD.

Posted by DrMcKittrick

I'm not going to be upgrading any UMD's though. They should be doing it for free along with an apology for the PSP overall.

Posted by flanker22

wow sony really squeezing people for money whats new?

Posted by ShoddyGo

no way am I paying twice for a game I already own.

i'll just wait for the vita to get cracked so i can continue pirating again. cheers sony.

Edited by Nintendude

Oh hell yes! This means I might not need to buy a new PSP-3000 to replace my old stolen one ^.^ (Need to get those 2 lost games again though >__<) Great news if I'll be able to play my old Korean DJ Max games on PS Vita. All I now hope I don't need a Korean Vita to do this x____x They are legit imported discs after all.

Edited by SeriouslyNow
@AjayRaz said:

@VinceNotVance said:

Not a bad idea. I have a small amount of I'd love to play on a Vita (mostly, Square's stuff like Crisis Core & Dissidia); it'd be nice not to have to dig out my PSP to play some games.

Doubt that one of my all-time favorite games, Chili Con Carnage, will see release through this program though, which kinda sucks.

wow. someone else that has played Chili Con Carnage?   right on, Vince! 
I did too.  I loved the original PS2/XBOX/PC game Total Overdose too.  Both are unfairly underrated gems of the genre.
Edited by Rheinmetall

Very interesting! Bravo Sony! But guess what? I will never pay not even a cent for a game that I already own.