Sony: Not enough demand for UMD Passport service in U.S.
Sony has explained that the UMD Passport scheme for PS Vita is not coming to the U.S. or Europe, as there is simply not enough demand for the service.
The UMD Passport program was announced
last year as a method for PSP owners to bring their previously-purchased UMD games to the PS Vita handheld.
However, while the service launched in Japan at Vita launch, it was revealed that it would not be available
to either U.S. or European Vita users.
SCE's head of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida has now told Wired that "there is a much larger demand for PSP games" in Japan, and other regions will not be receiving the service.
"When you look at the release schedule of new titles there are still lots of PSP games being released in Japan and being announced for release," he explained
. "Lots of people who are interested in trying Vita are also interested in playing PSP games that they might purchase before Vita comes out, and will not necessarily choose the digital version. So there is a lot more demand... to introduce a program like that."
He also noted that PSP games are sold via the PSN store for U.S. and European users at "really reasonable" prices, meaning there is no need for the UMD Passport service to be brought across.
"There are many, many games that are sold at an affordable price. Because people in Japan are not getting the digital copy for free, because it costs us money to develop and maintain the system so we are asking people to pay somewhere between $5 and $10 to receive the digital copy in addition to what they have on the UMD," he said.
He finished, "When you compare that to the price of games here, PSP games in Japan are sold at a much higher price, so people see the value in spending the $5 to $10 to get the digital copy. But when the games are already sold at a lower price in the U.S. we see less value in introducing that kind of system."