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No UMD passport for US Vita is a head scratcher

We have some disappointing news to bring to those of you picking up a PS Vita at launch, as Sony has just confirmed that there will not be a UMD Passport service to transfer your UMD discs over to the new handheld.

Judging by the response that Sony has given, there doesn’t appear to be a rational explanation for their decision to axe the UMD Passport program either, which may infuriate a few of you. It means that as the way things stand, the feature will be exclusive to Japanese consumers only.

A Sony representive spilled the beans in a report over at Kotaku and they are waiting to hear back from Sony as to why they are doing this. For those of you wondering what the UMD Passport is, it’s basically a service that allows users to register their PSP UMDs on the PlayStation Store and then re-download them for a discounted price so that they are compatible with the Vita.

Since this won’t be available to the US Vita, we’re presuming that there will be no European UMD program either, which is disappointing. You’re still free to download digital copies of PSP games of course, but it is not exactly ideal for those hoping to convert their favorite UMD discs over to the Vita. We too were hoping to bring DJ Max over to the Vita, but now we’ll have to pay full price for the same game if we want to do so.

What are your thoughts on this backwards compatibility mishap from Sony? On a more positive note, Sony should know that this move isn’t going to go down with original PSP owners, so we’re hoping that they are already thinking of an idea to accomodate everyone. If you were planning to use the UMD program, tell us what games you were intending to transfer.

How many gamers are really willing to pay for the same game again, just to have the convenience of being able to play it on the Vita? It also means that those of you who were planning to trade in those PSP systems for a bit of credit towards a new WiFi or 3G Vita should think twice now. We guess the last laugh is now with Sony PSPGo owners. After coming in for inevitable banter on why they decided to buy the UMD-less system, it looks like all their digital game purchases are now going to come in very handy indeed.



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