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UMD Passport Program Not Coming to North America [UPDATED]

Sony finally confirms what most suspected on the UMD-to-Vita initiative.

Not all PSP game were available in the UMD Passport program.

Update: Sony's released an official statement, which sadly doesn't provide any real new details on why the program isn't coming over.

"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."

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Given how strange, messy and expensive the UMD Passport program was, it’s not surprising to read on Kotaku that Sony Computer Entertainment America won’t be bringing it here.

UMD Passport was a Japanese initiative that allowed UMD owners to pay a fee in exchange for a digital version that would work on their Vita, as Sony’s new handheld does not feature a UMD reader.

The fee proved a point of contention, as there was not a standard UMD-to-digital price, a consequence of publishers being allowed to dictate to dictate pricing. Even Sony didn’t have much consistency, with Patapon 3 and Gran Turismo costing 1,000 yen ($12.89), while Hot Shots Golf 2 cost 500 yen ($6.44).

Many games weren’t even part of the UMD Passport program, severely limiting its overall use.

Still, in general, if the game was available, the price was cheaper than purchasing a brand-new copy of each one, which meant there could ultimately a degree of usefulness for some consumers.

Sony has not yet responded to my request for elaboration on the decision.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Not all PSP game were available in the UMD Passport program.

Update: Sony's released an official statement, which sadly doesn't provide any real new details on why the program isn't coming over.

"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."

--

Given how strange, messy and expensive the UMD Passport program was, it’s not surprising to read on Kotaku that Sony Computer Entertainment America won’t be bringing it here.

UMD Passport was a Japanese initiative that allowed UMD owners to pay a fee in exchange for a digital version that would work on their Vita, as Sony’s new handheld does not feature a UMD reader.

The fee proved a point of contention, as there was not a standard UMD-to-digital price, a consequence of publishers being allowed to dictate to dictate pricing. Even Sony didn’t have much consistency, with Patapon 3 and Gran Turismo costing 1,000 yen ($12.89), while Hot Shots Golf 2 cost 500 yen ($6.44).

Many games weren’t even part of the UMD Passport program, severely limiting its overall use.

Still, in general, if the game was available, the price was cheaper than purchasing a brand-new copy of each one, which meant there could ultimately a degree of usefulness for some consumers.

Sony has not yet responded to my request for elaboration on the decision.

Staff
Posted by OllyOxenFree

WELP.

Posted by Draxyle

It wasn't a great program, but it's disappointing that we're given no option in that regard. There are some titles I would like to digitize.

Posted by holybins

Wait...people care about the vita?

Posted by MolluskLingers

People should stop being dirty poors and just rebuy their games to support the developers. It disgusts me when people look for a "free hand out" just because they already bought a game. I don't get a free hand out when I bought a Burger King Whopper and I eat it and want another one. Why should video games get one?

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

@holybins said:

Wait...people care about the vita?

.........Good one.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Godlyawesomeguy said:

@holybins said:

Wait...people care about the vita?

.........Good one.

I sure do!

Posted by gringbot

While the program was flawed, I would have used it for just a couple of my UMD's because it would still be better then rebuying it.

Pretty dumb considering it's just going to make buying a Vita less appealing to even more people.

Posted by Goldanas

I sold all my old PSP games anyway. I'M PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Posted by MormonWarrior

Just sell your UMDs on Amazon and buy the digital version. I guarantee you'll get more that way than you ever would have otherwise.

Posted by SSully

@Methodis said:

People should stop being dirty poors and just rebuy their games to support the developers. It disgusts me when people look for a "free hand out" just because they already bought a game. I don't get a free hand out when I bought a Burger King Whopper and I eat it and want another one. Why should video games get one?

Because we don't feel like rebuying a game we already have? There is a big difference between buying a fucking burger and buying a video game. It has nothing to do with a free hand out, it is wanting the ability to play games from your past generation library on your new console.

Posted by Vorsic

My PSP still works, so, whatever.

Posted by TepidShark

[Sarcasm]Awesome grammar in the caption for the Patapon picture.[/Sarcasm]

Posted by Hector

Surprise!!!...not really.

Posted by Enigma777

[insert rage here] In all seriousness, I don't care since I already sold all my UMDs and replaced them with digital versions when I bought a Go.

Posted by This_Dude

If I can't transfer my psp games to Vita for free, I don't want to transfer them at all. I'm not disappointed by this decision.

Posted by OllyOxenFree
@Methodis said:

People should stop being dirty poors and just rebuy their games to support the developers. It disgusts me when people look for a "free hand out" just because they already bought a game. I don't get a free hand out when I bought a Burger King Whopper and I eat it and want another one. Why should video games get one?

Sorry, dude, but that is a terrible analogy.
Posted by Chibi_Kaji

I stopped caring after a while, I was keeping my old PSP around to play a few import titles I picked up anyway.

Posted by BradGrenz

It's almost as if all those people saying there were no advantages to buying digital versions of PSP games back when the PSP Go launched were wrong!

Posted by troticielo

@MormonWarrior said:

Just sell your UMDs on Amazon and buy the digital version. I guarantee you'll get more that way than you ever would have otherwise.

@Vorsic said:

My PSP still works, so, whatever.

This and this.

It didn't happen for the Go and that didn't have an entirely new platform's worth of games for it. I don't see why anyone was seriously expecting anything but this.

Posted by hagridore

Got 2 PSPs that still work. I ain't that sore.

Posted by Xeirus

@Cloudenvy said:

@Godlyawesomeguy said:

@holybins said:

Wait...people care about the vita?

.........Good one.

I sure do!

Nope

Posted by Bones8677

@Methodis said:

People should stop being dirty poors and just rebuy their games to support the developers. It disgusts me when people look for a "free hand out" just because they already bought a game. I don't get a free hand out when I bought a Burger King Whopper and I eat it and want another one. Why should video games get one?

No one was asking for a "free hand out." People were happy to pay a fee to transfer their old games. And besides, them buying the old PSP games means they already supported the developer.

Edited by Firelogic

How is this even an issue? Who cares? All I've been hearing over the lifespan of the PSP is, "PSP sucks, there's no games on it, it's dead, no one likes it, etc...ad nauseum"

What does it matter if you can't play psp games on the vita. It's a new console. Does anyone even have umd games they want to carry over? The answer is NO.

Posted by spiceninja

D'oh well.

Posted by LittleBigJono

@hagridore said:

Got 2 PSPs that still work. I ain't that sore.

I too have 2 PSP's, but I broke them both in fits of rage while playing, last time I bought a handheld because I'm just too angry a person.

Posted by Xtrminatr

This news story reminded me to cancel my Vita preorder from last year. They are already trying to offer packages and deals, this thing will tank big time.

Posted by algertman

Is Giantbomb going to cover that NeoGAF is actually a Sony viral site?

Posted by BlazeHedgehog

Backwards compatibility with existing media formats is a big deal to me. "Backwards compatibility" where I'm expected to buy games I already own is one of the single most frustrating things.

Posted by Napalm

@Methodis said:

People should stop being dirty poors and just rebuy their games to support the developers. It disgusts me when people look for a "free hand out" just because they already bought a game. I don't get a free hand out when I bought a Burger King Whopper and I eat it and want another one. Why should video games get one?

Nice one. Did you pick up that analogy from the Republican GOP debate?

I've stated it before, but I'm pretty done with handhelds. The only thing that truly interests me would be the Xperia Play, since it's also everything else cell phones are.

Posted by whatsnme

bummer, i kinda wanted to get a vita because of that. oh well.

Posted by iAmJohn

Go fuck yourself Sony. There's no goddamn reason for you not to do this, and as someone who owns, like, sixty UMD games I bought legitimately, I would've given you so much money for this. Now I won't give you any because you're fucking stupid.

Posted by hagridore

@LittleBigJono: What was the game? I've never smashed a handheld, but did damage my GameCube while playing Majora's Mask. After I bought a 2nd it humbled me into never doing anything like that again.

Edited by Joeyoe31

AHAHAHA OH WOW. SONY FUCKED UP.

But seriously why? I wanted a my Vita to be a Persona Portable Player...

Posted by gla55jAw

Overpriced anyway, I'll hold onto my PSP and play my UMD games that way.

Posted by GalacticPunt

@Methodis said:

People should stop being dirty poors and just rebuy their games to support the developers. It disgusts me when people look for a "free hand out" just because they already bought a game. I don't get a free hand out when I bought a Burger King Whopper and I eat it and want another one. Why should video games get one?

1/10. Very transparent and forced trolling attempt. Not up to the standard you set with every Harmonix-related post.

Posted by Meptron

I'm surprised that Sony is releasing the Vita in North America. They won't sell many of them here.

Posted by iAmJohn

@hagridore said:

@LittleBigJono: What was the game? I've never smashed a handheld, but did damage my GameCube while playing Majora's Mask. After I bought a 2nd it humbled me into never doing anything like that again.

I had a rage spasm trying to get a perfect on the second-to-last level of LittleBigPlanet that ended with me destroying my charging cable and almost taking the Dualshock 3 out with it. It still occasionally loses sync with the PS3 whenever it's plugged in. Kind of puts things into perspective, you know?

Posted by algertman

Also gamestop w/ nintendo are selling 3DS for $150 for a sale to undercut Vita. Vita is royally fucked in America.

Posted by MindChamber

"you complain about passport?? you now no get.. filthy americaan"

Posted by LittleBigJono

@hagridore: First time I think I was doing challenges in God of War or something in Dissidia. Second time it was FFIV. Neither times were good enough reasons to break the damn thing though, what a waste of money... But I do the same thing to my controllers and they never break

Posted by GooieGreen

Have a PSPgo, because that is what men do: buy stupid shit.

Honestly... the UMD conversion crowd is truly out of their minds. Who else is still pissed that they can't play GBA games on their DSi?

Posted by Poki3

Birth by Sleep needs to come to the PlayStation Store :/

Posted by Moncole

I wonder if Sony will abandon the Vita like the PSP

Posted by Gabe_Fox

You know what? I'll buy Darkstalkers again. I'll buy a couple of other PSP games too that I want on my Vita, and for the most part they're much less on the digital now than when I got them on UMD years ago. The few newer games I've mostly purchased as digital downloads anyway. I'm not happy that they aren't giving me the chance to discount some of my older disks, but to be honest, I probably wouldn't ever play them on the Vita anyway.

I'm disappointed, but generally ok with this.

Posted by MrAristocrates

Man, I only wanted this for P3P. Oh well, still have my PSP for that.

Posted by iAmJohn

@GooieGreen said:

Honestly... the UMD conversion crowd is truly out of their minds. Who else is still pissed that they can't play GBA games on their DSi?

Are you really trying to compare Nintendo removing backwards compatibility in the second iteration of a handheld that was released years after the GBA was dead and buried with SCEA refusing to offer the backwards compatibility goodwill program they're offering in the other territory where the handheld is available for seemingly no reason?

Posted by Cathryn

I have to say I'm a little disappointed, but the only game I ever had any intention of porting over was Persona 3 Portable. And to be honest, with the amount of play time I've gotten out of that game, Atlus can have my money all over again.

I hope the online catalog improves because it is missing some things, like Crisis Core, for example. Unless Square plans on doing an up-res'd version for Vita.

Posted by MmaFanQc

@holybins said:

Wait...people care about the vita?

Wait...you dont care about the vita?

Posted by vaportra1l

I guess they really don't want anyone to buy these things.

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