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Sony Responds to PSP Gamers With UMD Games

There's no question that the PSPgo was probably one of Sony's worst-kept secrets, especially in the days leading up to E3 2009. While many of us drooled over the sliding screen and thinner design, the lack of a UMD had many scratching their heads. One of the big questions Sony faced after the PSPgo's big reveal earlier this week was, what would happen with existing PSP games? Without the UMD drive, gamers upgrading to the newer PlayStation Portable will have no way to play their favorite games without hanging on to the older model, or purchasing the titles again--in digital format--from the PlayStation Network Store.

"We're in the midst of putting together a good will program," said John Koller, Director of Hardware Marketing for Sony while speaking with Gizmodo. "We'll be unveiling that soon [because] we actually think there's a significant group that will be upgrading from the 1000. In the past, we've seen a 20-25% trade-up factor, and I assume that's going to be the case here. We've modeled that. So we're looking at a good-will program--a short term good-will program that would continue for years afterward."

According to Mr. Koller, the method would be similar to Portable Copy, a means to insert a Blu-ray disk into the PlayStation 3 and transfer the movie over to the portable device's memory stick. In this case, consumers will not be "ripping" the UMD disks, but rather use a PlayStation Network digital distribution model in which users must register to use. It's also possible that consumers will be required to enter the game's UPC number listed on the box in order to "unlock" a digital version.

And because Portable Copy is free, it's easy to assume that the UMD service will be free as well although that bit of info went unconfirmed. Mr. Koller also added that the company was currently looking at what kind of games will be offered through the service, indicating that not every UMD title will be available for digital download. Currently the PlayStation Network offers "UMD Legacy" titles, a library of 39 classic UMD-based games including LocoRoco, MediEvil Resurrection, Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters, Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code, and more.  

  • tipoo
    I still want to know the things internal specs.
  • hellwig
    A whole whopping 39 games? Someone on the other thread corrected my (joking) assumption about possibly dozens of PSP games with the fact that there were over 500, but apparently Sony thinks people only want to play 39 of them? Copying them to a memory stick will be nice, but as long as the number of times that can happen isn't limited. I mean, we're assuming people will want to bring most of their library over to the new PSP, and a 16GB memory stick isn't going to hold all those games at once.
  • lamorpa
    "We're in the midst of putting together a good will program" (John Koller). Why would a guy from Sony be putting together a will program (good or not) at all? Isn't that kind of work for lawyers? May he said 'goodwill'? What kind of dolt transcribed the quote?
  • radium69
    That does it... Seriously, for this time in my life, i've bought over 30PSP games. And now this crap? Only one of the titels are in my collection. This sucks. Making it homebrew is the better way anyway...
  • Ethereal_Dragon
    PSST, if you can have a digital copy on memory, you can transfer it to computer, and higher capacity USB drives for storage. No one needs to have more than 16 games on them at all times... If that's the case, they should look into another hobby, or get a job.
  • grieve
    I was under the impression they are removing UMD because of massive piracy… In my mind digital distribution will be incredibly easy to pirate.
  • alextheblue
    Oh boy a smaller screen! Where do I sign up?? I'm really looking forward to the next PSP after this, the PSPWristWatch. With a 1.5" screen, it'll make everything look REALLY SHARP!
  • ViPr
    is the screen even OLED at least?
  • redgarl
    Sony shoot itself in the foot. What's the difference between this and an ipod touch?
  • mortalmalkavian
    I'm not interested. The original PSP had structural problems, and now they're making a thinner one? Worse, the article leads me to believe games can ONLY be bought via digital transfer. And I'm not interested in a PS3, not to mention buying a PS3 just so I can play my original PSP games on the new version of the PSP. Will Sony allow re-download of games I bought through the digital transfer, or will they take the same position they take with games you buy as downloads for the PS3?

    Sony needs to pull their heads out from their nether-regions.