Sony explains why no Vita UMD transfers for US

How come Japanese Vita owners can pay a few dollars to get digital copies of PSP UMD games, but we can't? According to Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, it's down to two main reasons: the PSP is more popular in Japan, and games are cheaper in the US.


Vita owners in Japan who've upgraded from a PSP can slap down a few bucks to get downloadable versions of their UMD games onto their Vita, but sadly Sony hasn't brought the UMD Passport scheme to the Western market. This, SCE worldwide studios president Shuhei Yoshida has explained, is down to two main reasons: the PSP market is much more active in Japan, and games are cheaper in the US.

"I'm sorry we are not doing it in the States," told Yoshida Wired, saying that there's simply less demand for such a scheme over here.

"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. 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."

Tying into this, according to Yoshida, is the fact that games are cheaper in the US and Europe, so presumably players are less bothered about tossing their UMDs and buying digital Vita copies.

"... 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," he said. "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."

While there may be less demand for the UMD Passport plan in the US and Europe, by Sony's logic, there is still very much a reasonable interest in having it here too. It'd certainly be a welcome gesture to the PSP owners Sony surely hopes will upgrade to a Vita.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 22, 2012 2:15 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Sony explains why no Vita UMD transfers for US.

    How come Japanese Vita owners can pay a few dollars to get digital copies of PSP UMD games, but we can't? According to Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, it's down to two main reasons: the PSP is more popular in Japan, and games are cheaper in the US.

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 2:25 PM

      All I read is, "Blah, blah, blah fuck you North America."

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 2:41 PM

      This is such dogshit.

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 3:31 PM

      "waito pigu go homu" - shoehey yoshi da

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 3:51 PM

      This reads as: "If you want to play games you already own without buying them again, you'll have to 'get your own copy'..."

      • reply
        February 22, 2012 3:57 PM

        Or, you could just play them on the PSP.

        • reply
          February 22, 2012 9:03 PM

          which is not what they want you to do.
          instead, they want to tout psp games being playable on the vita,
          but you will need to repurchase them again.

        • reply
          February 23, 2012 4:08 AM

          but if I'm traveling I want to take pack less devices (and games), not more.

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 4:18 PM

      I'm surprised they didn't just compliment us on our big American penises and leave it at that.

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 7:47 PM

      Everytime I hear about news on the Vita it's not good. It costs way more than a DS, and they aren't letting you just transfer over games you already have. Not a good move at all.

      For the record, I own no handhelds so I'm analyzing this from an unbiased perspective. I'm also not an Xbox fanboy hating on Sony; I've had a playstation since PS 1

      • reply
        February 22, 2012 8:19 PM

        The bad news is a little overstated in general. A year from now, the price will have dropped and no one will care about the UMD thing.

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 7:59 PM

      Ugh, Sony's decision makes sense in the ways mentioned above, but they fail to see that this decision makes people like me much less likely to buy a Vita.

      Though a few people aren't going to be able to use their friend's UMD to get a discount, many more people are going to not buy a Vita because of the negative press this brings. Kind of like Ubisoft's approach to DRM.

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 8:34 PM

      "the secondary market scares us so much that we'll hurt our existing, paying customers."

    • reply
      February 22, 2012 9:06 PM


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      February 22, 2012 11:41 PM

      I don't even care what Sony do outside Australia, but this is such a cop out.

      In reality, they just don't want to make the effort of doing it outside their home territory.

    • ArB legacy 10 years
      February 23, 2012 12:17 AM

      It's because of the internment camps isn't it?

      • reply
        February 23, 2012 1:18 AM

        Little Boy and Fat Man

        • reply
          February 23, 2012 3:31 AM

          Geez, you drop two bombs and all of a sudden you're the bad guy

        • reply
          February 23, 2012 9:22 AM

          Cry more. We certainly didn't bomb pearl harbor ourselves

    • reply
      February 23, 2012 3:15 AM

      Heh, this will certainly help with the low sales numbers... derp.

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      February 23, 2012 4:54 AM

      HIJACK Which PSP games would you want on it anyway? Rock Band Unplugged is about all I still want to play on PSP.

      • reply
        February 23, 2012 10:06 AM

        All my JRPG's

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        February 23, 2012 11:45 AM

        You are pretty clueless.... There is a very large number of psp games that i still play tekken 6, valkyria chronicles 2, Jeanne d'Arc, gran turismo, armored core 3, metal gear solid peace walker... hell i still play coded arms from time to time.

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          February 23, 2012 1:24 PM

          Yup, totally clueless. Except I much prefer Virtua Fighter's flow to Tekken's jerky combat, find most JRPGs to be pretty terrible for the ridiculous combat and characters, hate Gran Turismo for being a driving lesson simulator rather than an actually fun game, and Metal Gear Solid is basically ridiculous these days.

      • reply
        February 23, 2012 4:52 PM

        Tactics Ogre
        Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
        Final Fantasy Tactics
        Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles
        Ys 3
        Valkyria Chronicles 2
        Persona 1
        Persona 2
        Persona 3
        Soul Calibur

    • reply
      February 23, 2012 11:28 AM

      This wouldn't be as bad if more PSP games actually worked on the Vita. A vast majority of my "digital" games will not work on the PSP.

    • reply
      February 24, 2012 6:59 AM

      I guess the real question is, does PSP hardware cost less in the USA? Pretty sure not.

    • reply
      February 24, 2012 7:42 AM

      And sony still wonders why the X360 sells better than any sony product in the usa.

      And Sony still wonders why the PSP sells better than the PS VITA in japan.

      And sony wonders why the nintendo 3ds sells better than all sony consoles combined.

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