There won't be a UMD version of Patapon 2, as Sony is using the game's release to test the waters of digital-only distribution for PSP titles.
Originally scheduled for a regular old retail release, Sony has trashed that idea and will be going full-on (or at least partially) digital for Patapon 2. The game will be sold for $15 on the PlayStation Store, while retailers will also be selling a $20 physical version that doesn't come with a UMD but a download code inside the box. So if you care about adding another case to your shelf of PSP games, go for retail. If you care about saving $5 for a footlong at Subway, go for digital.
Sony's doing this to test the waters of digital only distribution. "We're considering a digital only format for the Patapon 2 release as a one time test case as we continue to explore consumer preferences for digital content," Patrick Seybold of SCEA said.
Why is this significant for people who don't give a hoot about rhythm games with cute little characters saying really annoying chants? While it's true that Sony did this about a year ago with Echochrome on PSP, the timing for this coincides with multiple rumors about a new PSP without a UMD drive (and possibly with a touch screen) that'll get all its games via a PSN store.
Could be a sign that Sony's gearing up for this rumored UMD-less PSP or it could just be Sony exploring "consumer preferences for digital content." Either way, Patapon 2 will only be $15, and that's something to be happy about.
[Via Ars Technica]