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Sony Explains Why Vita Won't Support UMD In The US

As some of you know, Sony has implemented a UMD transfer program for the PlayStation Vita in Japan. But there has been some question as to whether or not a similar program would go into effect in North America.

Now, there appears to be no question at all: it isn't happening. As for a reason why, Sony President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida explained the decision; as he told Wired, it was mostly a popularity issue.

"I’m sorry we are not doing it in the States, but there are two factors that contributed to the decision as I understand it. I’m not in a position to make that kind of business decision. The system has been introduced in Japan, where there is a much larger demand for PSP games. 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.

So there is a lot more demand...to introduce a program like that."

Yoshida added that PSP titles sold digitally in the US or Europe come at a reasonable price. He cited Final Fantasy Tactics as an example; you can grab that for only $10 and as he said, "that's a great price." Furthermore, he explained that PSP games in Japan actually cost a lot more, which is why they "see value" in spending $5 or $10 more to get the digital copy. And so-

"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. The combination of the new titles available, or the lack of, and the price difference, the company decided to do that."

We can see why those with big PSP libraries would be miffed at the Vita's lack of backwards compatibility for UMD. But bear in mind that the Store is always there, so it isn't just Vita titles you have access to...

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita psp games, vita backwards compatibility

2/23/2012 8:25:48 PM John Shepard

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Comments (20 posts)

bebestorm
Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 9:39:34 PM
Reply

Uh huh.... Sure Yoshida

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BikerSaint
Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 10:28:58 PM
Reply

Er...."NO" Yoshida....
....
try telling that Happy Harry Horsesh!t to all of my U.S. based 12 PSP's & 128 UMDs that I've already bought, dammit!



Last edited by BikerSaint on 2/23/2012 10:30:31 PM

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BikerSaint
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 1:57:41 PM

OOPS, noticed a mistake I made above, not all of my PSP's were US based...

Actually one of those 12 PSP's is Japanese, a beautiful metallic copper colored "Monster Hunter" model that's skinned with 2 large dragons in black on the backside.
It also has a small dragon enclosed in a circle on the front right side too.

BTW, although the X & O buttons are in the same position as the US models....both functions on the Japan model are reversed(and it really takes some time to get used to).

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Palpatations911
Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 11:38:11 PM
Reply

Let's be honest - They want us to "double dip" on purchases by purchasing a UMD on a PSP and later having to purchase the same game on the Playstation Store in order to play it on the Vita which will increase Sony's bottom line.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 11:47:12 PM

yup

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 11:47:48 PM
Reply

Suck

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___________
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 5:19:12 AM
Reply

OH PLEASE!
this is EXACTLY why i hate $ony!
you want us to re buy our games off PSN at full price, why cant you just say that?
please dont treat your fans like they were born yesterday!

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Underdog15
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 12:32:26 PM

As for me, I'll probably just keep my PSP...

Wow... all my problems are solved.

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Douchebaguette
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 6:24:58 AM
Reply

I really don't think the issue is due to Sony wanting to force customers to purchase more digital PSP releases here; remember that purchasing a UMD copy still gives them profit. If anything it's probably to force customers to focus on the new Vita titles. They need that.

They also probably genuinely believe that including the format for physical backwards compatibility would be a waste/loss of money (notice how they eventually were forced to strip out PS2 BC on the PS3). They figured if there's more hardcore PSP players with a huge library (the ones who are coincidentally compaining), they'll still have their previous PSP console to back that up (and tbf, it's easier to do that with the PSP than the PS2 since they're small and handheld).

Of course they forgot to notice the small possibilty of insurrection among the fans...

Lol.

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D1g1tal5torm
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 6:59:10 AM
Reply

It's a business model that generates revenue for Sony.

However, it's a business model that grates with sony tech owners.

Personally, I find the removal of backwards compability to PS2 more of an issue and then to bring out old titles again on the store. Out of order!

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gumbi
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 8:41:45 AM
Reply

I'm really not that upset about this. Even if Sony did bring this program to us I've only got maybe 2 PSP games that I might shell out an extra $5-$10 to get the digital copy for my Vita... And that's a pretty big maybe. I've still got my PSP and I don't plan on getting rid of it, so if I want to play me some Crisis Core or Valkyria Chronicles I'm fine with doing it on my PSP. I'm more upset about the current lack of PS1 support, these are games I've already purchased digitally and I can't play them... not cool.

I think it's a wise move for Sony because unfortunately there just wouldn't be a big enough market for it. It wouldn't be worth the cost of implementing the program and it would take attention away from the new Vita titles they're pushing so hard right now.

I'm sorry BikerSaint. I know you, more than anyone, deserve a program like this. But there just aren't enough BikerSaints out there. Which is a damn shame, we could use a few more ;)

One last thing. And this is significant. Lets not forget the fact that A LOT of North American PSP owners don't even own a single freakin UMD. They're running CFW and load all their games from downloaded Roms and ISO's. And Sony knows this.

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coverton341
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 10:00:30 AM

There is a workaround to playing PS1 titles. The graphics aren't as good as natively playing on the Vita, but if you set up remote play with the Vita you can play them just fine. At least every PS1 title I have tried with remote play works just fine. You can assign your memory cards through the Vita and everything.

Also, if you long press the screen you can make taping the back pad L2, R2, L3, and R3

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BikerSaint
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 2:11:30 PM

gumbi,
LOL, thanks for thinking of me.

I'm trying to look on the positive side about it.... at least I still have all my PSP's & UMDs in my collection, and I'll still be able to play them in the year 2057 if I want.

Plus now that the Vita's the big thing,I'm really hoping that the US used market for UMD games will do a major nosedive in price, & I'll just start snatching up UMD games by the armful.
Hell, I'll even buy a wheelbarrow for just such an occasion.

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JackC8
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 8:46:39 AM
Reply

I can't tell you how refreshing it would be to hear a corporate bigwig actually come out and tell the truth about stuff like this once in a while. For instance, "Our market research together with accounting projections showed that we were likely to make more money if we didn't introduce such a program in the United States. So we didn't."

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Beamboom
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 11:55:55 AM

I know! It would be just SO refreshing. Like that other marketing bigwig who tried to explain why they went for proprietary memory cards.

Just... STFU or play it straight with us!

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Douchebaguette
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 6:41:14 PM

Bobby Kotick does that and no one finds it refreshing =P.

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Arvis
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 9:56:02 AM
Reply

I don't really even care, as I won't have a Vita for at least 3 or 4 years, but even I can see that this is pretty idiotic.

Purposefully making your product LESS user-friendly is never a smart decision. If your reasoning is "not as much demand," well then you're not likely to STIMULATE more demand making decisions like this.

But Sony is just a Japanese Microsoft (or rather, Microsoft is an American Sony) so anyone expecting it to be about more than the bottom line is naive.

-Arvis

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Nlayer
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 11:56:03 AM
Reply

I really don't mind personally. My PSP works perfectly fine and I don't mind switching between the two.

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Underdog15
Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 12:41:36 PM
Reply

eh... we all know what they are doing and why. And none of us are surprised. Sure we would rather them be straightforward...

But honestly.... whatever. I have a PSP... I'm going to keep it. And by keeping it, all my problems are solved. B/C is nice, but the PS2 and some PS3's are the only fully B/C systems we've ever had.

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DeathOfChaos
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 12:26:38 PM
Reply

It's a decision like this that creates the dedication for piracy, if you think about it. I mean, we have loads of AWESOME PSP titles that we've already bought and then all of a sudden, to play it on our new device, we have to buy it again... *BING!* There goes a red light for hackers to figure out a way around this. Same goes for things like PS1 Classics. They're gonna add the feature, yes, but if they don't fix that fast enough, people will figure out other means to do so. Then, because of the innocently sought knowledge and gained ability to do these things on their own terms gets thrown out there for free for the user, by the user, and open to abuse. The cycle of 'piracy' will then recycle itself once again.

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