Sony: You Won’t Be Able To Bring PSP Discs To Vita

Sony: You Won’t Be Able To Bring PSP Discs To Vita

Sony has told Kotaku that there will not be a North American version of the UMD Passport program, which would allow PlayStation Vita users to transfer their PSP discs to the upcoming handheld.

Sony debuted the UMD Passport program in Japan last December alongside the release of the Vita. Japanese gamers can insert their game discs into their PSPs, register them on their PlayStation Network accounts, and pay a small fee to re-download their games on the Vita.

Unless Sony changes its mind or announces some sort of alternative option, North American PSP owners will have no way to play their UMDs on the Vita, though they will be able to access any PSP games they purchased digitally.

I’ve asked Sony why it won’t bring the UMD Passport program to North American customers and will update with any further news or explanation.

Sony will release the PlayStation Vita in the US on February 22. Look out for Kotaku’s review in the coming weeks.


  • Booo, I was putting off my PSP games to play on the new machine. It’s just like sony to take away backwards compatibility.

    On another note, they would make a stack of money with this passport, and should have thought of one for the PS2 to PS3 usability.

    Maybe it leaves too much room for piracy or something…?

  • Can’t you buy the games online now anyway, thanks to the pspGo? I know it is not a perfect solution, but I imagine those games will come down in price after the Vita launch, which should make it a bit easier. Of course, I could be completly out of the park here.

    • The problem here is existing PSP owners with UMD-based PSP games being unable to play those games on the Vita due to the lack of a UMD drive.

      This isn’t particularly surprising but it is a bit disappointing. The system’s backwards compatible but you have to re-buy any PSP games you want at full price on PSN (which isn’t necessarily retail price any more but you’re still forced to pay for your games again). This is even worse for us in the “European” region because the EU PSN store has an absolutely terrible selection of PSP games on PSN compared to the US or JP stores.

    • You can buy some PSP games on PSN, sure, but certainly not all of them. And as NegativeZero mentioned, the US, EU, and JP PSN stores all have different titles available to them.

      Plus, Sony said “Don’t worry, we’ll figure out a way to get your UMD games playable on your PSVita”… and now they’re not doing it (unless you live in Japan).

      But this isn’t a huge surprise because they said the exact same thing when the PSPGo came out, with the same results.

  • About 45 of my 50 PSP games are digital anyway. Got into the habit a while back of buying them off PSN. Digital versions save much battery life on the PSP – the UMD drive is a pig on battery. Plus you don’t have to cart UMD’s around.

    I know backwards compatibility with previous generation media is fairly common on many modern systems, but seriously – if Sony doesn’t give it to us, so what? It’s a brand new system. Keep your PSP and use that for PSP games. I mean it’s nice having the backwards compatibility, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

    Buy those extra special games you know will carry over off the PS store, many PSP games are usually around the 10-15 dollar mark anyway these days. Although why we STILL don’t have Crisis Core on the PS Store is beyond me, but that’s another story.

  • This probably just delayed my PSV purchase by 1-2 years.
    I have a stack of 50+ eBay bought UMD based games to get through.
    PSP1000 resets itself occasionaly for no reason though so may buy new PSP when prices drop again….

      • 3000 is great. If you are buying new local that’s whats in stock, but both are a step up from the 1000 (I own a 2000 & 3000 and my sister owns a 1000)

        • Battery life is significantly better on the 1000 though in my experience. Plus they only cost about $50 preowned. But 2 and 3000 are both a lot slimmer which feels really nice.

  • So, yeah, obviously this is a shitty move on Sony’s part.
    But I have to wonder; what exactly are people planning to do with their PSPs when they get a Vita? You know, the ones they’ve been playing their PSP games on until now? Is everybody planning to break theirs in half as soon as they lay hands on a Vita?
    Hell, I still have my original Xbox for the odd non-backwards compatible game, along with my PS2 since I had the PS3 version without backwards compatibility.
    It just seems strange to me that so many people seem intent on ridding themselves of their original PSP so quickly.

  • Why are they axing this specifically for western markets?

    To me, this is reminiscent of the PS3’s BC when they basically crippled it for the PAL launch, then got rid of it completely six months later in order to sell more PS3 games.

    Sony wanting to sell more Vita games perhaps?

    In any case, I don’t have a PSP. I do keep thinking of getting one cheap, along with a few games (Gripshift, Outrun 2006, Crazy Taxi, Powerstone, LBP and a few others). Maybe this will lead to them dropping in price crazily quickly.

    And yes, BC does matter to me. I don’t really keep up with games that much – I’m currently playing Bayonetta (360), Sonic Adventure (DC collection, 360) and Outrun 2006 (Xbox, via 360’s BC).

    • Most likely the same, although if European releases are anything to go by they’ll probably remove the ability to download PSP games too.

  • As I said when they did this with the go, they obviously don’t mind that the race will be on to hack the PSV just so people can play their old PSP games on it, the passport program may have given them six months before any-one cared enough…

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