Sony explains lack of UMD-to-Vita transfer

SCE Worldwide Studios president says lack of demand, cheap price for downloadable PSP games in North America kept Sony from offering trade-in program internationally.

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Twice now, Sony has teased the possibility for PSP gamers to convert their UMD-based titles to play on digital-friendly systems like the PSP Go and PlayStation Vita, and twice now, Sony has failed to deliver. In a recent interview with Wired, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida explained why a Japanese conversion program for the electronics giant's newly released PS Vita isn't being offered to North American gamers.

The Vita has ports for all kinds of things, but a UMD isn't one of them.

Yoshida said there are two main reasons for the lack of such a program internationally. First, he said there was little demand for such a program outside of Japan, where the PSP still has plenty of new games being released on a regular basis. Second, he said downloadable PSP games in the US and Europe are cheap enough that offering the conversion program (with its $5-$10 fee per game converted) didn't make as much sense outside of Japan.

"You can buy Final Fantasy Tactics for $10," Yoshida said. "That's a great price. There are many, many games that are sold at an affordable price. When you compare that to the price of games here, PSP games in Japan are sold at a much higher price, so people see the value in spending the $5 to $10 to get the digital copy. But when the games are already sold at a lower price in the US, 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."

A full list of PSP downloadable games compatible with the PS Vita is available on the official PlayStation Blog.

Discussion

158 comments
dirtnap32ad
dirtnap32ad

5 to 10 bucks isn't bad if you only have to do it once. When you own several games already, spending about 10 dollars each for a replacement digital copy adds up real quick.

 

hasancakir
hasancakir

In short they don't care about the umd owners in europe and us by not giving them to choice of conversion umd-to-digital. Greed is the greatest sin of the humans. Shame on you Sony.

squall_83
squall_83

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

squall_83
squall_83

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

DemonsWrath11
DemonsWrath11

I think just about every one of us who is commenting on this page wants a vita. It seems we all just want 2 things in common before we are willing to purchase one. A price drop so it doesn't burn a hole in our pockets and use of the psp games (more or less ALL psp games) on the vita. I mean lack of backwards compatibility with this thing is just stupid. It's not a different system it's the psp 2. That being said if you have held and played one you have seen that the vita is an amazing piece of hardware and I think everyone commenting cares about it otherwise they would be on the ps3 page.

Mike47912
Mike47912

If you have a ps vita,why in the world would u want to play old psp games?? I honestly think its just stupid...if you seriously LOVE ur psp games then just stick with it and dont buy ps vita...Its that easy ppl.

Cozm1kaos
Cozm1kaos

Of course you have to pay more to play on the VITA, its a different system. I know you think because you paid for the game on PS3 so you deserve a lifetime guarantee to play the game you bought on every system sony comes out with. WRONG it does not work like that, as stated before you guys pay for map packs LOL.

Zapffe
Zapffe

My thoughts on this is that they have a really bad excuse. To me FFT: WotL costs about $15, which is only $5 less than Japan (I think it's $20 there), so a conversion fee would still be better for me. More so, the fact is that not all PSP games are on Playstation Store, and not all of them are available for Vita yet either. As a consumer I feel that being treated as a second-grade customer is alarming. I could accept having to re-buy all the games I've already bought for a specific platform if they were all actually available on that platform. However, simply being ignored might make me consider not buying the next Sony system or to not buy video games from Sony.

DemonsWrath11
DemonsWrath11

Yes as we all know games over here *cough* $40-60 *cough* are far too cheap so there is no point in including that program. Also it's not like most of us who play the psp play monster hunter or any other good games like that, that we would want on the vita. That would make sense. Another thing is that as we know games come out in the US and UK practically every day not every 2 years or something. And finally it's not like where one game comes out in the US and UK and then we have to wait 2-4 years for the sequel to come out and japan comes out with the HD version the following year (thank you capcom). (just to be clear not ranting about 1 particular game. I just assume most ppl who play psp probably play games like monster hunter.) I think I speak for everyone when I say sony tech development devision we love ya Sony corperate and marking, we hate your guts.

squall_83
squall_83

@leeko_link True, he does have a point. It would be nice if the system could have had a solution like that, but with the rear touch pad and camera taking up all the real estate on the back of the unit, I just don't see it being an option.

IrithAyllistira
IrithAyllistira

I just know one thing: I hate to have to set up my PS2 all over again everytime I need to play a game, because I just can't run it on my PS3. Although I have a PSP I'm not even thinking about buying a Vita but I guess this will be a major bummer for users.

leeko_link
leeko_link

@ squall_83 Not to mention it'll add to the cost too if the Vita does include a UMD slot and a Vita cartridge slot but then even the DS Phat and DS Lite also includes both a GBA and DS cartridge slots so danusty does have a point.

squall_83
squall_83

@danusty They can't do that because they would have had to put a UMD drive in the Vita. That wouldn't work. They can't simply give you digital versions of every game for free because there is no way to prove you own a copy of the UMD.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

The ONLY reason I could imagine wanting to convert a PSP game would be to take advantage of the second analog stick, but other than that... If you have a UMD, you likely have a PSP to play it.

GarGx1
GarGx1

Sony just don't do backward compatibility.

digitaltiger
digitaltiger

If you want to play umd psp games then play them on your psp, theres nothing wrong with the system.

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

Sadly, that's the risk run with new system releases. It's no different than with consoles after all. We had the short lived luxury of backwards compatibility over the last generation, but I'm thinking that's totally a thing of the past, which honestly doesn't totally bother me. I have no problem going to PSN and getting Final Fantasy X when it comes out. Of course, it's been a good while since that game was released, and that's where I think a lot of people's anger is coming into play. The PSP has just now become a thing of the past and not enough time has passed for owners to adjust to not being immediately gratified the way they want with their old games. After some time has passed and the Vita's library has grown stronger (hopefully) you'll hear a lot less grumbling.

ChibiXRiku
ChibiXRiku

Glad I started downloading all my games with my PSP Go two years ago. Saw this coming. Unfortunate I won't be able to get games like Birth By Sleep on my Vita but at least I didn't waste any money on UMD's that weren't really an absolute must have.

Kirra87
Kirra87

I look at my shelf of PSP UMD games and see Kingdom Hearts, God Eater, Crisis Core, Parasite Eve, both Star Oceans, and realize I will never get downloadable versions for them even if I pay... hey Vita, no thanks... since Sony refuses to support all of its UMD games instead of just choice ones it still makes profits on. They try and control what we buy by limiting the availability of classic games. Glad I still have Final Fantasy VII...

Serious
Serious

Now some say that Sony doesn't care about its customers. Please. If you ever been, read, or watch a film about Japan. You know that they are super crazy about customer etiquette. All a failed system will prove them is that handhelds are dead. Then we are all stuck with Mario and Angry Birds from here on. People! you want to play you have to PAY! There are no free lunches here. You have all picked an expensive hobby. but by no means the most expensive. Moviegoers paid $14-21 to see a show. $14-$32 to own, not to mention the aforementioned constant format changes. I won't go into the cost to support a sport hobby between tickets, memorabilia and clothes it can get costly. And if you want a ppv package like NFL Sunday Ticket for 299.95. OUCH! People these are the jock! We are for the most parts are nerds. We make more than them. Yet I see more whining here than I see in a vineyard. If you can't afford it then save for one, Use your tax refund or wait the price will drop by Christmas, maybe. but don't expect Sony to drop the price cause people say they should. Or don't you all recall a $600 PS3 and how long that price drop took. So get off the beach, because I don't see that ship on the horizon for sometime. In closing, I understand a lot of you want to get something for nothing. You would be stupid if you didn't. But the reality of it is that...yes Sony wants to make money. We shouldn't hate them for that.

Serious
Serious

I don't understand why gamers feel that once they have paid for a game that they should be allowed to get it for free no matter how many times the format changes. I owned Superman the movie 3 times.(VHS, DVD and Blu Ray.) I've had the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band 4 times. ( Album, Cassette, CD, digital download. ) None of those times did I expect the company to give me the previous version for free or at a discount. Why not? Because there was nothing wrong with my previous copy. I could got back and play them on the device they were intended for. But I wanted the convenience of having them on a new format with better quality. For that reason I agree with @JimmeyBurrows that Sony hasn't earned the right for more money. If your going to shell out more money for a game that you've purchased before it should be for something extra. Just as HD version of games sell with no complaints. Vita capable version with the 2nd joystick activated and enhanced graphics would sell. Not at full price. but discounted even if you didn't get it before.

Stonesourpuss
Stonesourpuss

@ WolfGrey - Amen, brother. People are hating on the Vita for all the wrong reasons... and ultimately, will be the reason (if) it fails. No consumers = dead system. *pouring out a little liquor for the Dreamcast*

johnrare
johnrare

It only does everything (that includes bunch of lies with it)................. -_- own ps3 -_-

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Lots of people seem to think these versions have been modified to run on the vita... Well they haven't, they're exactly the same as the psp version, just stored online instead of on a UMD... Sure if they'd had to modify them to run on the vita there may be reason to pay them for that, but they've done nothing to earn extra money out of it. Not to mention several psp games are not available for download... It's all well and good saying you have a psp, use that... It's a friggin portable device, if you have to carry several objects with you it's not really doing the job of portability is it. and i laugh at anyone who thinks Sony is "looking out for us" thats just how marketing works, screw people over while keeping the repeat business.

Spacerac
Spacerac

I for one WANTED the transfer program. But the statement about there being little demand was correct, because everyone had to whine about paying a tiny price to get the game onto the Vita.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

The funny part is alot of these games are 5-10 dollars anyway though many recent ones are not. For the best games, their reasoning is invalid. But however i have a psp, so why the hell should i give a crap? Own a Vita and a psp.... If you want to play your psp games , play it on your psp that you already own. If you want to play Vita games, play it on your freakin Vita.... Ain't hard people.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

@Raven_basic Where do you keep getting people(plural) want the games for free I've only seen one post demanding that, most of us are complaining about the fact we are being charged full price twice while Japan gets it for 5-10 dollars.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

I do understand that Sony SHOULD do it for many reasons. BUT from here people are demanding that they get free downloads of games because they own the PSP UMD version. They do not feel that they should have to buy the digital download. SO if people say they WILL NOT PAY for a game they already own then what. Think about it like this if you did work on one medium and then someone said you need to do that same work on another medium but they were NOT going to pay for said service since they already paid for the medium the work first came out on would you do it. OR would you want to be paid for services rendered!! .... (contiuned)

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Still I understand what people think. That they bought the game and should be able to play it on PSV. BUT there are 2 problems with this from Sony's Point of View. First people again want it for free. Second it would challange newer games. Sony has many developers on staff. They cost money evey month no matter what they do. Sony wants them to make games to sell. Sony does not think that they will sell many Older PS2, PSP, or PS1 games. IF THEY DID, then Sony would make the games. All people can do it to send Millions of email or on Facebook by the millions say you want this game on PSV. Infact ask that it be on PSN for preorder so you can buy it before hand, if millions of people buy it then it will be made. But Sony should not be forced to make games not enough people want.

vegeta2002
vegeta2002

I like how I get thumbs down for suggesting that the only way to make Sony listen to its fan base is by not giving them money when they screw you over. It's called a boycott people. You are not helping Sony in the long run by rewarding their dickish behavior. You're hurting all gamers. I like Xbox for example, but I'm not gonna buy the new one if it doesn't play used games because that sets a dangerous precedent.

finaleve
finaleve

@Ravenlore_basic I see a few comments and I agree. This is a service pushing developers to make a digital version of their games. I know quite a few do have digital versions already on PSN, but there are games that aren't actually available. I'm comfortable with spotting a 5-10 bucks on a game I already bought but want the digital version to be playable on the PSVita. Don't tell me there is lack of demand when that would be the biggest selling point for me and plenty of other people. There is demand. Actually listen.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

JP= 5-10 usd Everywhere else= What ever said game costs on SEN ( I'll use GEB as an example:45$+tax+19.99=around 70 usd) Way to alienate a majority of your fanbase Sony.

Encephlon
Encephlon

in a nutshell: "Because we suck" Sony

wulfy42
wulfy42

I didn't buy a PSPGO because I have about 100 UMD's and i'm not going to REBUY games in digital format that I already own. I think if you own a UMD of a game you should be able to register it or send it in to sony (more then one at a time even, but you pay the postage) and get digital versions in return. I bought those UMD's. I already own the freaking games. But I can't play them on any of the newer versions of the PSP (or vita now). Bad news for them. I have 40+ games I have not even tried once already on my psp. I have that as well for ps3, xbox and even my wii...but I still buy new ones that really interest me all the time. I certainly don't do that for the PSP and havn't since I have a psp3000 and am not upgrading. Vita is going to really have to get some GREAT games to make me switch over, and none are on the horizon right now.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

People are complaining that they can not getting FOR FREE a transfer!! It would not be free for Sony to make such games work on the PSV. Maybe people should do the job themselves for FREE and then Sony could then allow the trade for free.

staranise
staranise

I think I`ll save up for a new pc instead....anybody else wants bacon? I`m achin` for some bacon

paperwarior17
paperwarior17

@vegeta2002 The "subscription fees" are for 3G. You expect them to provide free 3G when no other device does? If I get one I'm getting the wifi model. No reason to get 3G on a non-phone device.

Kenichi34
Kenichi34

@Cozm1kaos Sony cares about us...Hahah. This article says otherwise. We already paid for those games, Sony. Why do you insist that it's a good idea to pay $5-10 for them AGAIN to have them on Vita? Sorry, but we really wanted this program. Don't make me roll my eyes with your "not enough demand for it" excuse.

xcollector
xcollector

You asked for it and Sony said you didn't want it. You do what Sony says when you give them your money. That's how the world works.

vegeta2002
vegeta2002

At least the Vita is selling well... oh wait! The system wasn't even out yet before people realized that Sony was going to try to screw them over at least different 3 ways: monthly subscription fees, overpriced memory cards, and no UMD tranfers. That's gotta be a record. Bravo, fanboys. You finally learned to speak a language Sony understands: $$$.

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

So much for Sony "caring about it's fans" like the millions of Sony fanboys always like to brag about. "Sony cares more about their fans than either Nintendo or Microsoft does, etc., etc., etc.!" Guess what? Sony's also in this business for the money just like Nintendo & Microsoft.

paperwarior17
paperwarior17

It did make some people very unhappy, though. Not all the games are being offered for $5-10; Some are still being sold for full price and if someone bought a UMD, they naturally won't be happy with having to pay that much. And how much would it cost to implement? Apparently all you have to do is use a PSP to link the UMD with your PSN account.

Addizzle
Addizzle

@Hvac0120 It's great that it is included. Sony shouldn't have announced it until later. If you present a feature, but don't have it at go time, it makes the system seem lacking. That"s the Sony way. A better way is to announce the feature later when they are ready to deploy it, leaving gamers pleasantly surprised and creating added value to the product by "giving" you what was already there, but was never implicitly stated to be included in the product. That's the Apple way. Backwards compatibility makes more sense here because its all digital. It's a way to SELL the games that are sitting on PSN to more people. BC on Xbox 360/launch PS3 couldn't generate much new profit (aside from buying the hardware) as people either already owned older games or were more than likely buying them used. Having immediate access to digital copies of games that are already sitting on the network would be a win for gamers, publishers and Sony's wallet.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@Addizzle Remote play is one of those "It has great potential" features that nobody supports. I think it's great that Sony still included it in PSVita, even if it isn't used much. Sony hasn't found a good way to encourage developers to include the feature in their games. It must be too expensive or too hard to implement right now. That's a hurdle Sony should get over, but is probably low on the priority list.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Digital content is the new Backwards compatibility and you can't be mad at Sony for not investing the time to force games to work on the new hardware - at least not without compensation. Sony would not see their money back for the cost they would incur to hire developers to make sure all digital games worked on a new system. Xbox to Xbox 360 BC is a great example. It was all done through Microsoft's internal team to make the games work on the new hardware and then the list was limited because of this. Eventually this program faded away. I imagine that it went away for multiple reasons; one being that they were not making enough of their money back for what they were putting into that effort.

Addizzle
Addizzle

I left out the [lack of] remote play for PS3 games like Killzone 3

Addizzle
Addizzle

Sigh It's like Sony just likes to look incompetent. If you THINK you may implement something, but are not sure 100% sure about it, don't announce it! If someone asks, you should dodge or have no comment. Then, when you decide to: not have psone classic compatibility at launch only have 158 out of 396 digital PSP games compatible at launch not to implement a conversion program in Europe & North America No one is surprised/angry/sad.

Cozm1kaos
Cozm1kaos

Listen, i understand you want free games i really do. I do as well, i am dead broke but understand the business point of view. You do not have to buy a PS vita, you really don't have to. But to put your hands out and beg for a free transfer is really shameful. Sony always trys to look out for us, believe me the free ONLINE is really much appreciated. I mean they don't have to do it? But to sit her and bash Sony for tryng to run a business is sad. i remember when 360 came out, only 2 to 4 games were backwards compatible and after 2 years they cut all xbox games completely. Nobody talks about that?

Ghetto_ninja
Ghetto_ninja

I'm sad they didn't do a gamer's choice awards this year because that was awesome last year and Sony gave half off on all the winners which were all awesome games. You people are ignorant to think that Sony sets all the prices on PSN.