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Sony Reveals UMD Passport For Transferring PSP Titles To PS Vita
Sony Reveals UMD Passport For Transferring PSP Titles To PS Vita
November 11, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Sony today announced a new initiative that will allow PSP owners to bring their previously-purchased UMD games to the upcoming PS Vita handheld.

The program, called UMD Passport, will be made available to Japanese PSP owners on December 6, a couple of weeks ahead of the PS Vita launch on December 17, reports Andriasang.

Users will be able to download a UMD Registration Application from the PlayStation Store to their PSP, and register old UMD games with the application.

Once registered, digital versions of these games can then be bought from the PlayStation Store for a cut price, ranging from 400 ($5.17) to 2400 ($31.03).

At launch, the initiative will support around 200 UMD titles from 40 different companies, with titles such as Gran Turismo, Persona 3 and Phantom Kingdom supported.

There is as-of-yet no word regarding when other regions outside of Japan will receive the UMD Passport functionality.

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Vin St John
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Why require 'registration' if the games still need to be purchased? Why not just make these games available in the store?

Saul Gonzalez
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This is a terrible idea. If users can link their games to an online account, they're going to expect to re-download their software for free, as they can in every other comparable service. No matter how you cut it, users are going to feel like you're trying to charge them again for something they already own. I expect to see a huge backslash over this. Sony is trying to give the Vita much-needed backward compatibility, but compared to this implementation it would have been better for Sony to not offer anything at all.

Rafael Brown
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You're simplifying one simple thing. This is talking about a transfer across generations, from PSP to PSP Vita. If users are paying full price for downloads of Xbox 1 classics on Xbox 360, for several generations of games for the Wii (N64, SNES, NES, etc), they're paying full price for PS1 and PS2 games on PS3, then why hold the Vita any different? I'm not saying I want to give Sony my money over and over, but this is not without precedent.

I guess the question is, is the software the same, is this a re-download, or a reworking of the software to get it to work on a new platform? Would you complain about re-buying DS titles for the 3DS? What about re-buying LoZelda: OoT 64 or Mario 64?

If you look at Steam you can make the argument that you can re-download software, but that is one platform Windows XP/Vista/7. And those are almost all current titles. Can you really make the comparison with same Wii Virtual Console that has 15-20 year old titles? And where does the Vita fit into this? Things are not as cut and dried as you state. Are we at a point where platforms don't matter? No. Did Sony ever give you the impression that you were buying software that would perpetually renew for the next 20 years regardless of platform? No.

The central issue is that Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have gone with a segmented platform concept for their consoles and handhelds. Apple has gone with a unified platform concept across generations for the iOS. I don't count Steam for the generational discussion because Windows XP/Vista and 7 are effectively one generation.

I agree that I like Apple's approach better, but I also recognize that Apple is doing annual hardware updates which make it easier to maintain compatability. And even there older games do break eventually as the iOS and hardware changes. And then its up the the developer to decide if they fix the game, and if so, they usually break compatability wth older devices. There is no easy answer, just many orthogonal approaches.

luke kronos
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Thats rigth !!!!!

Im not gonna pay for my PSP games a second time !!!!

You re kidding me Sony ????


Lyon Medina
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........Really? Pay again? Per game?...................There goes the Vita up in smoke.

Paul Shirley
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Great way to legitimise whatever hackers and pirates come up with in the eyes of otherwise law abiding users. Sony shoots themselves in the foot again.

Justin Leeper
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I imagine the additional fee is to combat whatever trade-in value a consumer can procure for getting rid of the physical UMD of the game they just received in digital form.

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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Which right now hovers around 2$ an old fry and a bit of lint...

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutras Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Robert Boyd
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Seeing a lot of hate for this system, but what exactly do you propose that would be better? If you just let someone get a digital copy for anything they have on hand then there's nothing to stop people from abusing the system. And a system that had people mailing in their games for digital copies would be a logistical nightmare.

Merc Hoffner
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Well, assuming the original UMDs each have a unique ID key, then issuing a single free digital copy per ID would be pretty fair: The owner gets their digital copy of their game they already own (and is now presumably tied to their account), and while the original UMD of an old game might be lent or sold, at least it can't spawn an infinite number of digital copy claims. It may even discourage resale.

Ujn Hunter
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Yeah, this pretty much legitimizes "pirating" games you already own. I own 100+/- PSP games on UMD which have all been purchased new. No way I'd be willing to pay $5-10 per game ($500 to $1000) just to "digitize" them when I've paid $3000-4000 on them already. $1-3 per game maybe... I'd personally just wait for a CFW and "digitize" them myself. This "rebuying" business only hurts people who have already shelled out a ton of money.