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PSP trophies axed, UMD goodwill program reportedly planned

Hacking issues will prevent a portable extension of achievement system; plan to offer early adopters downloadable versions of disc-based PSP games. [UPDATE] Sony confirms PSP trophies a no-go.


During last week's massive 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo data dump, several revelations that would have made front-page news during a normal week slipped through the cracks--revelations like the PlayStation 3's trophy achievement system won't be coming to the PSP, as had been indicated during GameSpot's E3 2008 stage show.

Looks like no virtual glory for PSP owners.
Looks like no virtual glory for PSP owners.

Speaking to gaming blog Joystiq, director of PlayStation Network operations Eric Lempel--who first demonstrated trophies on the PS3 last summer--said they were no longer in the works for the portable. "You're not going to see trophies on the PSP," he reportedly said, before outlining the reasoning behind the decision.

"If people can artificially inflate their rankings and amounts of Trophies, it kills the whole system," explained Lempel. Given that virtually every PSP firmware update is hacked within days of going live, a combined PS3-PSP trophy system could be susceptible to manipulation. Lempel said that "keeping it secure [and] keeping it fair" were Sony's top trophy-system priorities and trumped a desire to bring the system to the PSP and its just-announced sibling, the PSP Go. The new sliding-control, UMD-drive free portable goes on sale October 1.

Speaking of the PSP Go, another Sony executive offered some welcome news to early adopters who stocked up on PSP games on the handheld's optical disc format, the UMD. Gizmodo reports that Sony Computer Entertainment America hardware marketing director John Koller, star of the leaked video that preemptively revealed the PSP Go, said that the publisher is readying a program to let UMD owners download titles they already own to the PSP Go.

"We're in the midst of putting together a goodwill program," Koller told the blog. "We'll be unveiling that soon [since] we actually think there's a significant group that will be upgrading. ... In the past, we've seen a 20 to 25 percent trade-up factor, and I assume that's going to be the case here. We've modeled that. So we're looking at a goodwill program--a short-term goodwill program that would continue for years afterward."

[UPDATE] SCEA reps have now confirmed to GameSpot that the PS3's achievement system will definitely not make it to its little brother. "We do not have plans for trophy support on the PSP at this time," a rep said. As for the goodwill program, the rep said that "we are considering various programs to support purchased UMD games, but do not have final plans confirmed at this time."

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