No UMD Transfer for the Vita

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No UMD Transfer for the Vita

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If you're hoping to transfer your collection of UMD-based PSP games to your shiny, new PlayStation Vita, then you're fresh out of luck.

According to Kotaku, Sony has confirmed that there will not be a North American equivalent of the UMD Passport program that launched alongside the Vita in Japan.

The Passport system allows Japanese users to register their PSP games and attach them to their PSN (Now SEN) accounts. They can then use their Vitas to download a digital copy of the game for a fee. That fee varies dramatically, but most full-price games can be downloaded for around $13. To reiterate; that's $13 for a game you already own. It's hardly an ideal solution, but it's better than what North American PSP owners are getting, which is absolutely nothing.

Without a way of transferring UMD games to the system, the Vita's backwards compatibility is effectively crippled. The handheld can still run PSP, Minis and PSOne games purchased through the PS Store, but over half the PSP's library is only available on UMD.

Thus far the Vita has performed poorly in Japan, with sales dropping below 20,000 a week. Sony is presumably hoping those numbers will pick up when the device is released in western territories on February 22nd. I'd argue that this isn't the way to attract that particular audience, especially given the disastrous performance of the digital-only PSP Go. On the other hand, the PS3 has gone on to become a success despite the lack of backwards compatibility in later models.

Source: Kotaku

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Yeah, this is just crap. especially when the west is your last, best hope for your console/portable.

Well there goes any chance of me giving a damn about this system at all.

Sony...have you EVER NOTICED what Nintendo has done with literally EVERY NEW GENERATION OF THE GAMEBOY? Did you ever stop and wonder why they did that? Even just once?

They're #1 in handhelds for a few big reasons; and this is one of them.

I think it was the right decision to skip this generation's handhelds entirely. I think I'll be seeking greener pastures in cellphones.

Sigh. I think Sony's trying to make bad decisions at this point. I know they're desperate to move new game software, but neutering the primary benefit of digital distribution isn't the way to go.

Wow ok now I would have actually used the passport program, not for everything of course but to honestly I wouldn't mind paying and getting a discount on a few of the games i would have loved to carry around with me like the personas, final fantasys and few other rpgs. ((buying the damn vita for the p4 remake)) now I doubt i'd buy 1 or 2 if even, and I guess I won't need some big new memory card like 16 or 32gb.

So thanks for not wanting to take my money I guess??? Great business model.

Sony doesn't want my money either? The potential 100% DRM on Microsoft products makes me not want their hardware either, and I've already got enough Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon to last me forever.

I guess that leaves indie games and gog. This is bad news, for the Desert Bus crew.

Guess what I'm not getting?

Though that sentiment seems to be basically universal. Did they want anyone to buy this thing?

Eve Charm:
Wow ok now I would have actually used the passport program, not for everything of course but to honestly I wouldn't mind paying and getting a discount on a few of the games i would have loved to carry around with me like the personas, final fantasys and few other rpgs. ((buying the damn vita for the p4 remake)) now I doubt i'd buy 1 or 2 if even, and I guess I won't need some big new memory card like 16 or 32gb.

So thanks for not wanting to take my money I guess??? Great business model.

Hehe yeah the P4 remake is the only thing vita has going for it. Pretty much the only reason i have a psp is for p1-3. Its just not that good a console.

Ok the vita's not selling well we really need to get the american market if we don't want this console to be lumped in with the ngage and dreamcast. I've got it! Lets remove as many selling points as we can! Then they'll be selling like hotcakes!

And no sale for me.

Hey Sony, you know how your Vita is sucking in sales, yeah, that may have something to do with it. Obviously it's not the only reason, but at least for me, it's a damn big one.

I think Sony doesn't quite realize that Backward compatibility is a huge system seller for new consoles. After a few years the back catalog doesn't matter nearly so much because all the early adopters have their backward compatible system and newcomers don't often care. The Vita seems to be a series of design and marketing decisions I can't agree with (AT&T partnership, no attempt at backward compatibility in my region, and, most egregiously, the proprietary memory cards). I want to play the P4 remake and give Sony a flying finger; I will settle for one of those.

Grey Carter:

If you're hoping to transfer your collection of UMD-based PSP games to your shiny, new PlayStation Vita, then you're fresh out of luck.

That's really nice of them.

Well, they ARE saving me money; that's kinda nice.

Man, the only thing that could get me on the PSVita Train now is a FF12 release on it.

Otherwise its sadly bust :( and I want to like it.

How do game companies make me not want something I'm totally for :/...magic I swear to goodness...

Do they really want to make the Vita increasingly unappealing to PSP owners?
No UMD support: check
No improvements in battery: check
Single PSN/SEN account: check
Proprietary Vita Memory cards: check

...Wow. I didn't own a PSP, but this is still pretty damn dumb of Sony to do this. Nerfing the Western Vita compared to the Japanese one, when you have to rely on American sales to save your portable hardware division from getting axed...I'll stick to my 3DS and PC.

That's a mistake. I wasn't really planning on buying the Vita to begin with; now I really don't have a reason to. I'll just stick with my PSP.

"President Sony, the Vita is doing terribly here- The west is our ONLY HOPE!"

"Sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of me screwing with western gamers. Did you say "Screw over western gamers harder?" No problem!"

Well, at least I'm in the clear. Persona 3 Portable FINALLY was released on our PSN. Pisses me off that I'll have to buy it again at full price if my PSP breaks, and I'll be sure to sigh as noisily as possible as I do that, but at least I'll be able to play the thing.

Well, this is at least nice for me. I have a PSPGo, all my games were purchased from PS Store. I'll still hold off for a year before I get one though, the games library is just too small.... And lacks Monster Hunter. Actually it just lacks Monster Hunter. Gimme that and I'll buy one next week.

Also, can we please refrain from calling the Vita a 'failure'? Give the platform some time for christ sakes, the PSP didn't do well at the start either and its at what now? 70+ million?

EDIT: John have you actually written anything positive about the Vita? I've seen 4 Vita articles from you now and all of them are you giving us an update on how 'bad' the Vita is doing. It hasn't even released outside of Japan, yet you've bashed it 4x already. It just got some new features the other day and you've made no mention of them. Why not? It doesn't help the platform anymore by writing bad news after bad news. I'm not accusing you of bias, just saying that there's gotta be more to say about the Vita on the good side.

Um, ok... I cannot fathom what would justify this as a logical business decision so as of nao I am all ears.

And this boys and girls is what people mean when they say piracy is a service related problem. You can bet when this thing gets cracked to hell and back (and that day isn't far off) the pirates will be able to transfer their UMDs over to their PS Vitas and for the low low cost of FREE.

Sony has the opportunity to get a leg up on the eventual Vita pirates by offering this service as a nice thing for loyal customers. Instead it will likely now be someone on the homebrew scene or some other such person that ends up putting out an app to do the UMD transfer.

The biggest reason, as stated, for the PSP Vita's failing is that its far too similar in business model to the horrid "Go" idea. No one wants to re-purchase games they already own just to keep playing them. Specially when the handheld has a strong, established line up of titles not available digitally.

Now bring it to the West market? While I love the hell out of my PSP, there is a reason that Nintendo has remained damn near the king in handhelds, and that is retaining that backwards compatibility (that is, until the Big N got apeshit stupid and removed it). People are willing to buy a new console when they know they have access to both their old games as well as new at the same time through it.
And to me, the fact I can't play my UMD's on the Vita, and that easily around 80% of my PSP games aren't on the PSN Store... well, yeah. Not looking too great.

The passport idea was comically stupid and overpriced, but at least it was something. They should of just charged $5 a pop, instead of varying the prices like they did.

Huh. So there goes a chance of this psp vita hitting the ground running. Look. I kinda understand that UMD thing wasn't a good idea in hindsight but lets face it. You're already in the mire with that particular piece of software. You might as well make it work for you. This could be the psp go all over again.

It sucks but honestly... The west won't care. Despite what many think, The PSP IS DEAD in the west. It never sold well here, so this probably will have little effect on sales. Plus, I understand the want to have the ability to play old games, but if you didn't have a PSP (which most likely sales will be full of) then this will have little to no effect.

Would I want this UMD system? Hell yes.

Will it effect sales heavily? No.

Sony, once again proving their two generations of dominance in the market was sheer, unadulterated LUCK.

Korten12:
It sucks but honestly... The west won't care. Despite what many think, The PSP IS DEAD in the west. It never sold well here, so this probably will have little effect on sales. Plus, I understand the want to have the ability to play old games, but if you didn't have a PSP (which most likely sales will be full of) then this will have little to no effect.

Would I want this UMD system? Hell yes.

Will it effect sales heavily? No.

My PSP broke and I was hoping to upgrade, but sony is handling this about as bad as the psn hack. There is no reason to change policy like this, it just makes customers angry. And if no one buys the system, no games will be made for it and your stuck with a useless hunk of plastic. I don't want that. More then how many people it affects, its just bad PR in general.

Korten12:
It sucks but honestly... The west won't care. Despite what many think, The PSP IS DEAD in the west. It never sold well here, so this probably will have little effect on sales. Plus, I understand the want to have the ability to play old games, but if you didn't have a PSP (which most likely sales will be full of) then this will have little to no effect.

Would I want this UMD system? Hell yes.

Will it effect sales heavily? No.

That's what I was thinking, I don't know many people that have a PSP, i.e. only one other person, so I don't think it's going to hurt Sony that much in the long run. Yeah it sucks for the people that want to transfer over to the Vita, but really, if you already own the PSP, why would you want to get ride of it when you know for a fact that you can still use it to play games?

Still plan on getting the Vita though, even though this news kinda blows.

This is what's known in the industry as a dick move, although judging by Sony's recent fiscal performances, they need all the dough from slapped together remakes they can get.

On the other hand, the PS3 has gone on to become a success despite the lack of backwards compatibility in later models.

The problem is that Sony has opposition with the Vita it doesn't have with the PS3. Android/iOS. Yes, the Vita vs. 3DS is kinda like 360 vs. PS3. But the PS3 vs. Wii is nothing like Vita vs. Android/iOS.

Wii games were mostly full priced, low on content, and generic shoverware that many of the targeted casual market didn't care about. Android and the iOS though... many people who would buy the Vita already have a smart phone or iTouch. The market for those games might have a lot of shovelware, but has just as many great games.

Plus, using your smartphone for gaming is easy. You almost always carry your phone with you. You have to choose to carry around a portable system, and that can be annoying depending on where you're going and what you're doing. Not to mention you might not use it at all so it ends up being a waste. So that's another point for the opposition.

Finally, there's just how many games there are for the smartphone market and how cheap they are compared to full portable console releases. You can get 1 $50 game that you may or may not like, or buy up to 50 $1 games, most of which have a ad-supported version to play first to see if you like it. And you can just download them to your phone in a minute.

Just because the PS3 sold well doesn't neccessarily mean this will. The new market that's opened up, as well as being the second console out, will likely hurt them quite a bit. While they likely will make a profit in the long run, I doubt they're going to explode on release. And Sony seems intent to keep digging their graves deeper and deeper.

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Korten12:
It sucks but honestly... The west won't care. Despite what many think, The PSP IS DEAD in the west. It never sold well here, so this probably will have little effect on sales. Plus, I understand the want to have the ability to play old games, but if you didn't have a PSP (which most likely sales will be full of) then this will have little to no effect.

Would I want this UMD system? Hell yes.

Will it effect sales heavily? No.

That's what I was thinking, I don't know many people that have a PSP, i.e. only one other person, so I don't think it's going to hurt Sony that much in the long run. Yeah it sucks for the people that want to transfer over to the Vita, but really, if you already own the PSP, why would you want to get ride of it when you know for a fact that you can still use it to play games?

Still plan on getting the Vita though, even though this news kinda blows.

Plus, isn't the whole main point of buying a vita is to, you know, play Vita games?

Well, this sucks. Imma just keeping a tight hold on my PSP, even after I get meself a Vita.

Korten12:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Korten12:
It sucks but honestly... The west won't care. Despite what many think, The PSP IS DEAD in the west. It never sold well here, so this probably will have little effect on sales. Plus, I understand the want to have the ability to play old games, but if you didn't have a PSP (which most likely sales will be full of) then this will have little to no effect.

Would I want this UMD system? Hell yes.

Will it effect sales heavily? No.

That's what I was thinking, I don't know many people that have a PSP, i.e. only one other person, so I don't think it's going to hurt Sony that much in the long run. Yeah it sucks for the people that want to transfer over to the Vita, but really, if you already own the PSP, why would you want to get ride of it when you know for a fact that you can still use it to play games?

Still plan on getting the Vita though, even though this news kinda blows.

Plus, isn't the whole main point of buying a vita is to, you know, play Vita games?

I was under the same impression, but apparently not. Silly us.

It's probably the reason I still have my N64 around, to play games on the N64 because I can't play them anywhere else.

I still want the PSP2 (vita is a crap name) however I'll be keeping my PSP close. Even if they had some transfer plan because seriously that's just dumb.

I still can't believe how self-entitled certain gamers feel. When I bought a UMD I wasn't thinking to myself "oh boy I sure hope this works on every Sony system ever." It' just like a license. When I bought say, God Eater Burst on UMD, I was buying just that. The game on UMD. At no point was anyone obligated to make sure I can download a digital version of the game for use on a new upcoming system.

And for the record, this whole "transfer" system only covered games that already had PSN releases. It didn't cover every UMD, in fact it covered a very limited amount. Hardly "crippling."

Full disclosure here: yes I have the Vita preordered, and I also own a 3DS. I don't care to see any company "fail" or the like. I'd rather that gaming continues to get better. I really don't think the recent trend of negative journalism is helping the case at all.

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