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A Huge Vita Benefit May Be Backwards Compatibility

The PlayStation Vita is a hot topic of conversation, and everyone is talking about everything ranging from firmware updates to battery life to launch titles and everything in between.

But we shouldn't miss one important possibility: backwards compatibility. In recent weeks, we've heard Sony talk about downloadable PSP titles working on the Vita, and they're also trying to implement a program so physical UMD software will function on the new portable.

According to a recent Game Informer interview with Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, almost full backwards compatibility for the Vita might not be out of the question. For downloadable PSP games:

"Downloadable PSP games will play on the Vita. We are going through the process of testing that, so we can’t say there will be 100 percent compatibility, but we are looking at a very high compatibility percentage for downloadable versions of PSP games on PS Vita."

And for the UMDs:

"We just announced that we are working on something like that for the Japanese market. We are still working on the details of the program, so we will inform the details of the plan for the Japanese market. But we haven’t decided if we’re going to do something similar outside Japan."

If they do, everyone could approach the Vita in the store and go, "you know, this thing will play most of the titles in my PSP library." As time goes on, this becomes less of a system-seller (as Sony said about b/c with the PlayStation 3) but early in a new machine's lifespan, it's absolutely crucial for generating interest in a new and expensive device. The big question has often been: "If I replace what I have now, will I still be able to play many of the games I own?"

Tags: ps vita, playstation vita, psp, psp games on vita

9/21/2011 10:41:18 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (40 posts)

maxpontiac
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 10:57:53 AM
Reply

Hopefully that means GT PSP will be one of those downloadable titles.

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 11:05:31 AM

It already is, it's available for the PSP, so it is available for Vita.

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Claire C
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 1:27:06 PM

How come no GT 1 or 2 release in the PSX Classics?

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Jed
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 1:27:49 AM

Weird, same comment problem here. TIME TRAVEL OR PARALLEL UNIVERSE!!!!!!

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 11:05:11 AM
Reply

As far as I know, all downloadable PSP title will work on the VITA. I remember a recent comment about something like 600 PSP titles available on Day 1 for the Vita. However the point is that if the game is available for download to the PSP from PSN, it will work on Vita. I switched to downloadable games a while back for this reason.

Any PS1 classics you got on PSN will work as well. So if you have been aware of this, your day 1 library will be pretty good.

If you read the quoted comments, they can't guarantee compatibility because the games are running under emulation. But that just means that over time things will get better, even if it's not 100% from day 1.


Last edited by Highlander on 9/21/2011 11:06:32 AM

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ekauq
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 11:25:03 AM

My only little nitpick with the Vita and PS1 games are the L2 and R2 buttons. The Vita only has one of each, unless they use the back touch pad somehow. But when I was first trying a PS1 game one the PSP and needed L2 and R2, it turned me off to playing PS1 games on the PSP.

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 12:27:06 PM

Using the back touch pad seems quite logical, even on the PSP, there were options for those buttons. OK, they required a level of finger gymnastics I wasn't prepared to mess with, but you could do it.

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SmokeyPSD
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 5:00:03 AM

As long as your prepared to buy a card to manage your downloadable content...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 11:16:01 AM
Reply

If there is a way to get UMDs working for Americans I'd adopt the Vita sooner than I plan to. I don't see it happening though, Japan gets everything cool.

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Claire C
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 1:35:43 PM

Esp. with Type-0 and a new Suikoden coming to PSP.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 1:46:07 PM

Yeah I gotta get those, i just got Xenogears and Breath of Fire IV so i could play em on my psp.

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bebestorm
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 11:23:23 AM
Reply

Didnt Japan gamers say they wanted a umd accessory for Vita? To me thats the best solution...

Last edited by bebestorm on 9/21/2011 11:23:39 AM

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 1:02:40 PM

I don't believe that there will be a UMD accessory. The most likely course would be for Sony to offer downloadable versions of disc-bound games, and perform an exchange of disc for download code. Developing an accessory for UMD use, making them and distributing them would be a) costly, and b) only serve a very small number of actual users.

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bebestorm
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 2:26:00 PM

An exchange program would be great but I have little faith in Sony actually doing that outside of japan. Clearly they want to do it for japan and as usual japan gets everything! Since I know I will get vita at some point I buy psp games off psn.

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PANICinc
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 7:50:32 PM

I already got rid of all my UMD's when I upgraded to the PSPgo. So the transition to PSv should go smooth for me. I remember sending multiple emails to Sony asking about a UMD reader/ripper or Disk for Code exchange. But just got the
"Appreciate your input as a valued Sony customer...blah, blah, blah. NO."
I registered all my games the day I bought them, but it just wasn't going to happen. (sigh)
So I doubt they'll do much for the PSv. Unless we all rally together and ask reaaaallll nice!
LOL

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 2:10:59 AM

Why do you say it would serve just a small number of users, Highlander? I don't think I understand what you mean there.
Cause how many of the Vita owners will already have been PSP owners (and ergo has UMDs to play)? My assumption is that that's quite a large share?

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Claire C
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 1:28:18 PM
Reply

I have my few PSX Classics (like FFIX) ready to be played on that shiny new portable. =)

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wackazoa
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 2:41:52 PM
Reply

I still play ps2 games on my PS3 so Im always interested in backward compatbility. Im still not sold on the touchscreen thing though....

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Cuetes
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 4:44:37 PM
Reply

Being a graphic designer I find myself in front of a computer most of the time. I often find myself wanting to press control+z and rewind my mistakes in real life, then i realize i cant. As far as video games go, me and my girl played dead nation for about 2 weeks straight every night. In between one of them nights she woke me up with a elbow to the ear, apparently I had her in a head lock and was telling the zombies to stay away, pretty funny stuff. As far as seeing things that aren't there, sounds more like mental issues.

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Marckon
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 10:41:39 AM

wtf dude?!@ sometimes i wonder if there is a hidden treasure chest in the dark corner on my way to work, but this is little extreme...

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SmokeyPSD
Thursday, September 22, 2011 @ 2:50:02 AM
Reply

This was just plain expected actually. If old games did not run it would have influenced my purchase, simple as that. It influenced the play as I actually wanted a playstation phone, not a new platform as a mobile.

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___________
Thursday, September 22, 2011 @ 4:01:26 AM
Reply

till they decide to take it away from that like they have done before.
BTW, when am i getting my linux support back?

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SS4
Monday, October 10, 2011 @ 1:51:10 AM
Reply

Backward compatibility is one of the greatest feature ever. It makes the game library much broader and there will always be ppl hungry for some classic gaming with some nostalgia element :P

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N_8_
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 @ 9:36:53 PM
Reply

Quantic Dream... you remembered the game, but didn't share the developer name. Maybe because David Cage spoke about going multi platform?

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hellish_devil
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 @ 9:46:40 PM
Reply

Comments from September 21 2011 on this article!! Ben, something is wrong here...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 @ 9:56:50 PM
Reply

Weeeird. Must fix.

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cowboyd PSN XBL
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 @ 10:03:14 PM
Reply

PS4 will be at this year E3 and here why. 1 PS3 sold 56 mil ,did they win this gen like PS1 or PS2 ? no but the last five years where great . 2 Sony need to come out first they cant wait for MS, Sony needs a year headstart to give the line up time to sell. 3 All Sony systems still sell even when a new playstation is out.

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Metal Head
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 @ 10:45:45 PM

The only reason why XBOX 360 got a head start is because it was cheaper. It never had a must buy game in its first year until Gears Of War came out. With PS3 costing $500-$600 and Xbox 360 $300-$400 it was no brainer that people choose Xbox over PS3. Sony can wait as long as they match the next Xbox price.

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Jed
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 1:38:29 AM

Sony's exclusives are absolutely killer this generation, even though they lost some of the greats. If they can keep producing the same calibur games next gen it would once again be a HUGE advantage. They would be stupid not to provide the PS4 with such gems.

Last edited by Jed on 1/11/2012 1:44:31 AM

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Jed
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 1:46:31 AM

If Sony does jump the gun and come out with a console too soon, I'm afraid that it will be underpowered compared to the next Xbox. THAT would be a tragedy. Hopefully both Sony and M$ take their time and both come out with killer consloes that are fairly equal. Then I'm sure people would see the clear advantage that Playstation offers with its big exclusives and exclusive new IPs.

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Jed
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 1:49:59 AM
Reply

I just totally failed with the placement of my comments in this conversation.

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Qubex
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 1:55:03 AM

Lol!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 3:31:39 AM
Reply

I don't think the battle amongst the next gen consoles will be about the exclusives. It's a contributing factor just like any difference is, but not the most important one.

And therefore I believe it is critical for Sony to not be too late for this party.

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cowboyd PSN XBL
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 7:52:38 AM
Reply

Sorry Metal Head but when u buy a year of XBL and have a wireless internet 360 your paying the same price as the low end PS3 . Sony need a year head start and a great line up full of system seller exclusives and this is why the PS4 will be out the end of this year or the start of next year.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 9:18:10 AM

Most people aren't as smart as you or I (or anyone else on this site, for that matter). If the insane consumer debt the is accrued is any indication, people lack the ability to tally up the total costs of everything they buy.

People just see a price tag. You and I both know they're pretty much the same expense (variables including the 360 fail rate and there being so many must have games on PS3 causing people to buy more PS3 games than 360 games) but people just see that 300vs 500 dollar price tag and their decision is made.

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JLB1
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 8:43:36 AM
Reply

Some Playstation developers love to say that, although they're happy with the final product, there was always room for more! But, the Playstation limited their vision. So, with the new console, I want to see what it is they envisioned.

I don't know if Sony can keep it up, but right now, they're doing a hell of a job, and that's all that matters to me.

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Marckon
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 11:19:49 AM
Reply

I really hate when people refer to a game as a system seller like Mario to Nintendo and Halo to Xbox, not because it isn't true but rather because it is and I hate it. Just look at what mario karts and mario 3d did for the 3ds pisses me off. I like sony because they don't rely on a single tittle to sell me on the idea that playstation is the system to own. They have a big portfolio of awesome games that include FPS, adventure, platforming, sports, and the new one share create play that they created (they really need to bank on this genre).

I am sure sony is trying all they can to make uncharted a system seller, but I think sony should leverage their vision of gaming beyong video games and on that they are leaders of innovation and the house of creative freedom. I think Media Molecule's next project will blow our minds more so than LBP did. I think guerrilla games will improve on the FPS front and prove that staying an a single franchise limits ideas. Sucker punch is hiring for their next project, so i read on their twitter and holy shit naughty dog is doing two games at a time now.

Sony needs to serenade more studios and convince them that under the playstation umbrella they will be free to create the games of their dreams. I think they should go to east Europe and find an awesome rpg studio, groom it to perfection and bring to the level of naughty dog and sucker punch.

I would love to the uncharted until drake is 80 years of old and cant go on adventures any more because he suffer from Arthritis after all those climbs, but that journey needs to expand in twenty years. I think sony should let their studios rotate franchises and let them learn from each other and finally prove that together THEY are playstation's secrete weapon of mas destruction.

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Ignitus
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 12:14:14 PM
Reply

Yeah, I think Sony is well positioned First Party speaking, I just hope the third party game ports are better quality this time around.

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Raze22
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 6:06:23 PM
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agree with ignitus, 3rd party in my opinion is just as important as 1st party.

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Hoagie324
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 10:00:09 AM
Reply

Don't get me wrong, I love my XBox. However, I hardly ever play it for this exact reason- the exclusives on the PS3 are too great to pass up, not to mention that with each one the expectations of the console are broken and the bar is raised even higher. That's what makes me a big Sony fan; the volume and quantity of exclusives on the PS3.

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