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U.S. PSP Owners Will Not be Able to Bring Their UMD PSP Games to the PS Vita Using UMD Passport

Unfortunately, Sony has announced that it will not bring its UMD Passport program to the U.S., which means that U.S. PS Vita owners will not be able to bring their UMD PSP games to the upcoming handheld. The UMD Passport program allows owners to register their UMD PSP games via an application obtained from the PlayStation Store, which in turn allows them to purchase and download the digital version of the game for a reduced price.

No, the UMD Passport program doesn’t actually provide free downloads of games you already own, and yes, Sony actually requires you to pay some discounted price for a game you’ve previously purchased, but until now, Sony has spoiled a lot of its fans with backwards compatibility, and it’ll be a little weird not really conveniently having it available. Sure, one can go ahead and pay full price for digital downloads of games they already own, but that’s even more obnoxious than paying some discounted price via the UMD Passport program.

Even though the later PlayStation 3 units removed backwards compatibility, Sony has always been the driving force behind the functionality, with the PlayStation 2 being backwards compatible with original PlayStation games, and the early unit PlayStation 3s being backwards compatible with PlayStation 2 and PlayStation games — a feature many of us has paid $130 to Sony to refurbish our launch PS3s rather than simply go to the store and pick up a new slim model, complete with larger storage capacity and quieter fan. While we shouldn’t really expect backwards compatibility, as the majority of video game consoles haven’t had it, it’s kind of amazing that we expect it, and unfortunate that we won’t be able to pay a discounted price, which ends up anywhere from $5 to $31, in order to keep our old PSP favorites thriving in a new generation.

Currently, there is no word as to why Sony has made this decision. The PS Vita releases early in a special bundle on February 15, and the regular release is on February 22.

(via Gamasutra)

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