One of the big questions fans started asking once Sony announced the PlayStation Vita was whether it would be backwards compatible with PlayStation Portable games that aren't available digitally. A solution was promised, and now it's here: the UMD Passport program.
Launching on December 6, shortly before the Vita's December 17 Japan launch, UMD Passport involves downloading a special UMD Registration Application from the PS Store onto your PSP, Andriasang reports. You'll then use that to register your game so you can download it to your new handheld... at a discounted price. What, you thought this would be free?
The program will support roughly 200 games from 40 companies; Sony's posted a partial list online, but be warned that it's all in Japanese. The price for downloading a registered UMD game averages between 500 and 1,500 yen ($6-19).
The question now is whether or not you're willing to pay to bring your old UMD-based games to the Vita. It's not hard to see things from Sony's perspective -- how is anyone to know if a registered UMD is owned or just borrowed? -- but the idea of re-buying a game that I bought only a year or two ago is a hard pill to swallow, even at a discounted price.