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Sony: Not enough demand for UMD Passport service in U.S.
Sony: Not enough demand for UMD Passport service in U.S.
February 22, 2012 | By Mike Rose




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."


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Comments


Joe Zachery
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Please don't ban me for this comment.

Sony that's a dam lie!

Eric Geer
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Guess I'll be keeping my PSP...Sony Derp.

Matthew Mouras
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And so it begins...

Ujn Hunter
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Yes the $5-10 "upgrade" price is pretty ridiculous considering you can buy some new PSP UMDs and Digital Copies for $5-10 outright. $1-2 is the absolute most I'd pay to download a Digital Copy of my existing UMDs.

Denis Nickoleff
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That's a pretty obviously lie on Sony's part. It's probably going to end up contributing to piracy.

Fiore Iantosca
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All the more reason to keep your PSP, snag up some amazing games at bargain bin prices, and just wait for the Vita to drop drop drop in price and more games to come out.



Excellent job Sony, you just stalled your Vita adoption.

Patrick Davis
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Things like this definitely make you scratch your head. It's as if Sony just doesn't care. So, why should we care about their new product?

Brent Orford
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I've never gone to a U.S. Retailer and wondered "How much can I get this for in Japan?"



He may very well be right, games may be more expensive over there but his argument that the common consumer in the U.S. or Europe will see that spending $5-$10 more as 'value' is a bit of a stretch.



Sony used a very similar 'value' argument at PS3 launch to justify the high price. Consumers would see the value in a device which includes a bluray player and is designed for an 8-10 year lifespan. I wish they'd move on from trying to convince consumers there's value in paying more and just tell it like it is. They're a business that tries to make money, they feel they can make an extra $5-$10 bucks here in these regions. I'm fine with that, why aren't they?

Nathaniel Marlow
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What? You don't see the 'value' in spending $5-10 on something you already own so you can play it on a different piece of black plastic with DOUBLE the awkward analog sticks?

Jake Beers-Darnell
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Yea kinda figured this was the reason. For some reason the US isn't as much about digitally downloading games. I mean hell, look at the PSP Go

Louis Sedeno
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While I some what agree that is a factor the major factor for the Go was the lack of games available. The list has expanded, but there are still a vast majority of titles that are not available to Go owners.



Another factor is technology, because almost everyone and their dog has no problem downloading apps for their phones, but they have 3G.



I can't imagine many psp consumers using the passport except for myself and other niche' gamers who own hard copy Atlus, NISA titles et cetra.

Matthew Williams
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The problem is probably just the opposite of what they are saying. The demand for it is probably very high, so they say, hey why don't we just charge them to get their psp games on the vita. When the demand is high, they see an opportunity to make money, not "hey lets do something people will respect and appreciate us for".

Matthew Williams
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i mean seriously...you already have the passport developed and implemented. They are just removing it because they don't want you to have free stuff (that you already paid for).

james sadler
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As much as I agree that it is stupid not to release something that they've already developed not be accessible to the US and other regions, I don't think the "right" to bring those games one owns onto another system just because that system was created by the same company. It would have been smart for them to do it, if anything just to help raise the amount of units they would sell at launch. This is why both the PS2 and PS3 had backwards compatibility at least initially. The handheld market might still have a market in the East, but it is dwindling here in the west thanks to the smart phone rise. This is something they really should have thought about. The PSP itself didn't do fantastically here so causing another barrier to those that would buy it just makes me giggle. Oh well, I still have my PSP and am in no rush to get the Vita anyway.

ray G
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Honestly, Sony is dropping the ball again. The PSV Library is weak! contrary what the suits may think. Sony has no idea how many potential customers were basing their purchase on this. If its anything they can learn from Nintendo, is how almost every damn portable Nintendo has made has backwards compatibility to some degree. That is one of the KEY ingredients to their money printing machines!



I myself was more excited that I would be finely able to enjoy my PSP games with out thinking about how much strain motors put on small devises, especially portable gaming devices.



Nintendo has become somewhat not so tough contender anymore and is about to release the least anticipated console and Sony is fore-fitting a an established market from previous PSP owners.

Troy Walters
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Any chance this will happen in Australia?


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