No UMD conversion for PSP Go

[UPDATE] Previously purchased disc-based games won’t be playable on Sony’s new handheld due to "legal and technical reasons"; no PSP Go Rewards program in NA.

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Existing PSP owners hoping to pick up a PSP Go and transfer their existing UMD games to the handheld are going to be out of luck--Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment America have confirmed that there will be no way to transfer existing UMD purchases to the new download-only PSP Go.

"We were evaluating a UMD conversion program, but due to legal and technical reasons we will not be offering the program at this time," a Sony representative told GameSpot.

Sony's decision stands in marked contrast to sentiments expressed by Sony Computer Entertainment America hardware marketing director John Koller in June. Upon the PSP Go's unveiling at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Koller stated that Sony was putting together a "goodwill program" that would allow UMD owners to download games they already own on the PSP Go.

PSP Go has no love for the UMD.
PSP Go has no love for the UMD.

The £224 ($249) PSP Go lacks the UMD drive from previous versions, relying solely on digital downloads to purchase games. The system comes with 16GB of internal memory to store games, which can be expanded via Sony's proprietary M2 memory cards.

Yesterday, SCEE announced its PSP Go Rewards scheme, which will allow current PSP owners to claim three free games, provided they own at least one UMD. However, the selection of games is limited to just 17 titles, which include Killzone: Liberation, Wipeout Pure, and Everybody's Golf. The scheme will launch alongside the console on October 1 and will run until March 31, 2010.

[UPDATE] SCEA also confirmed for GameSpot today that it has no plans to extend the PSP Go Rewards program to US consumers. "SCEA will not offer a UMD rewards program at this time," a Sony representative said.

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