UMD Passport Not Offered to Vita Users Outside Japan; Fury Unfounded

Owners of PSP software will not be able to transform their UMD discs into digital copies for play on the Vita anywhere other than Japan. The program, titled UMD Passport, created an online marketplace for PSP titles in which owners of UMD copies could purchase downloadable versions of the game for a loose means of backwards compatibility on the Vita. Prices ranged anywhere from a few dollars to well into double digits.

Browsing comment sections and online forums, potential Vita customers seem outraged for some inexplicable reason. I’m unsure as to why anyone would see fit to pay for software they’ve already paid for once, and not to mention receive a gimped digital version in the process. This becomes one of those sticking points with each new generation of hardware, where early adopters suddenly consider their old software dead, or in some cases unplayable.

That’s like complaining your first DVD player didn’t handle your mass of VHS tapes.

There’s nothing wrong with backwards compatibility. My PS3 is a proud 60GB model that plays anything I throw at it. However, I’m mystified that people find it a negative that they cannot purchase their paid software a second time. We’ve arrived at a point in this industry where consumers aren’t satisfied with paying for their software once; they feel a need to give more money for that same software minus any developmental changes and/or additions.

If you’re that attached to your vast collection of UMD software, keep your PSP. There’s no need to throw it under the bus because the next generation rolls around. Don’t become angry that Sony isn’t offering an exchange program that, in reality, isn’t doing you any favors. If anything, it’s taking advantage of your loyalty as their customer.

Down the line, I wouldn’t be surprised to see MadCatz or other third party peripheral maker license UMD tech for a sort of Vita attachment. What a device like that would do to battery life is irrelevant to the ability to play those “old” games, right? Until then, know your UMD collection is safe years after it initially bonded with its home life inside your PSP. That’s where UMD’s belong, not restrictively stored on a memory card.