80w ago - While it's not surprising news, today Sony announced that PlayStation Vita owners will be able to download a UMD Passport Registration Application for UMD support on PS Vita consoles, which uses both cartridges and digital downloads according to the official specs.
To quote from Kotaku (linked above): "Starting Dec. 6, the UMD Passport service will start in Japan. Here's how it works: Download a free app called "UMD Registration Application". After that, enter your UMD game disc into your PSP, and according to the on-screen prompts, register your UMD via your PSN Account. The UMD will then be available for purchase.
Once the PS Vita is released in Japan on Dec. 17, you can then download the title on your new Sony handheld. According to Sony, the games will be available at an "agreeable price".
Currently, 40 game companies are offering 200 UMD titles as part of Sony's UMD Passport program. The digital versions of the games are priced anywhere between ¥100 (US$1.29) to ¥2,400 ($31).
Here is a selection of titles to give you an idea of how much the downloads cost on UMD Passort: Patapon 3 (¥1,000 or $13), Gran Turismo (¥1,000 or $13), Hot Shots Golf Portable 2 PSP the Best (¥500 or $6.40), Colin McRae: DiRT 2 (¥1,000 or $13), Dynasty Warriors: PSP the Best (¥500 or $6.40), Persona 3 Portable: PSP the Best (¥1,500 or $19), and Guilty Gear: Judgment (¥500 or $6.40).
This is not a full list of titles, and other companies, such as Konami and Capcom, are participating. Expect pricing and titles at a later date. Obviously, Sony did not disclose U.S. pricing, but one could assume that games priced at, for example, ¥500 would be priced at $5 in the U.S."
For those curious, PSVita will be released in Japan on December 17 and both Hong Kong and Taiwan on December 23, 2011.
A European and North American release are currently both slated for February 22, 2012.
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I think it is just a convoluted way of getting people to just buy everything from the PSN. Because really, why bother going through a stupid registering process if it really just makes you pay the price of a PS3 game. I think it would be easier (and make slightly more sense) to just make the price of digital PSP games cheaper. With the popularity of buying used games these days.
I can understand not simply letting you rip the game 100% free. But in all honesty, if I could even do a download/rip of my PSP games (or PS3) for like $1-$5. I would be 90% okay with not using a CFW on my units. I still would like to have the physical discs though.
The most immediate problem I can think of for any of the digital stuff is times when the PSN/your network is down. Since without signing-in will normally lead to the games not working.
$1 to $2 is reasonable, but $10 is not. I can understand it costs sony both infrastructure and cost in delivering the file to you in bandwidth. $1 - $2 will recoop the cost of the infrastructure and the bandwidth required, anything above this is profits.