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UMD Revisited: No Conversions for PSPgo

Yesterday we reported that Sony plans to offer three free games for new PSPgo owners next month, however consumers will need to keep their older models in order to registered for the PSPgo Rewards program. While the news brought little slivers of positive light to consumers pondering over a possible upgrade, Sony quickly diffused those hopes and told IGN that the program isn't slated for the United States. In fact, according to Sony, there are no plans to trade up UMD games for digital versions here in the States whatsoever.

"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 Computer Entertainment of America spokesman told Kotaku. Originally, the company revealed back at E3 2009 that there might be a program for owners to exchange previously purchased UMDs for digital incarnations. There was even talk of special kiosks that would perform the digital transformation on the spot.

The PSPgo, hitting the streets next month, sports a sliding screen, a compact design, large storage space, but doesn't feature the necessary UMD drive to play current games. Fans wanting to upgrade to the latest model--especially those setting their sights on trading up--will be left without the hardware to play their favorite titles. Without some kind of program, pre-existing PSP consumers have no incentive to move over to the latest model next month.

Still, the "at this time" comment sparks hope that Sony will eventually initiate some kind of US-based rewards program for current PSP owners after the launch. But given the backwards compatibility issues Sony has faced with the PlayStation 3, the possibility for a UMD rewards program seems more likely to happen five years from now rather than next month.

  • Montezuma
    I guess Sony never plans to make the PSPgo popular in the United States. I would have considered purchasing a PSPgo, but not if I cannot get digital copies of my current games. I mean, I am sure that there will be a workaround provided by the community, but I expect that I should be able to use the product as delivered or I have no use for it.

    Of course, it is Sony's call what they do and do not want to do with the product they sell, just like it is my call whether or not to install customer firmware on the electronics I purchase.
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  • doomtomb
    Seems like they are shooting their selves in the foot with this one....
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  • alextheblue
    Well if Sony is good at anything, it's cutting costs by removing hardware that allows you to play your old game titles.
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  • Major7up
    So if the new PSPgo has no umd drive how will it play games? I have not really looked at any of the PSP's so maybe a dumb question but doe it have another slot/drive to play games?
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  • Honis
    major7upSo if the new PSPgo has no umd drive how will it play games? I have not really looked at any of the PSP's so maybe a dumb question but doe it have another slot/drive to play games?They have already added a ton of PS1 and PSP games to the Playstation Network. If you do not own a PSP 1k to 3k the PSPgo is something to consider.

    This doesn't sound like Sony's fault. The Legal issues are probably from contracts with developers and the North American contracts. Converting the hardware PSP game to a digital format for free probably violates some form of distribution contracting.

    But given the backwards compatibility issues Sony has faced with the PlayStation 3, the possibility for a UMD rewards program seems more likely to happen five years from now rather than next month.
    I'm getting tired of hearing these sideways comments from the writers. Emulation requires DEVELOPMENT of the emulator and maintenance. Legal issues require LAWYERS to negotiate. Two very different types of hold-ups.
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  • tayb
    They aren't willing to give you a digital copy of a game you already purchased but I'm sure they would be more than happy to sue your ass for copyright infringement if you downloaded a game you already own to play on the PSP. Funny how that works out. They would love for you to buy the same game twice. It's okay, there was a 0% chance I was going to buy a PSP anyways.
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  • I'd say just download those games then!
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  • Manos
    Ok.. for Sony not bragging and also already offering freegames the handheld is going where it belongs. Straight to hell :P That PoS costs as much as a PS3. Before they kept saying BR my ass... WTF kinda player does this have and its so freaking expensive? Its pathetic really. Im glad its no going anywhere and Im glad it will be a failure in time before lots of ppl pay Sony for that shit and then have to throw it away. I rather buy a PSP ( which i dont need.. I eitherway ordered my ZuneHD so that has more hopes even though i bought it for a player and i love it so gaming will be a perk. Nvidia ftw :P ) than pay that shit. Sony didnt learn with the fiasco of the PS3 release back then and still doesnt seem to know what gamers want. Let them burn so they learn instead of ripping us off. I find it better solution to the issue.
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  • rodney_ws
    And the Nintendo steamroller just keeps on rolling! Yeah, the DSi broke compatibility with a few things here and there, but sweet Jesus Sony really takes the cake with this one. I guess you could just carry around BOTH PSPs wherever you go! *rolls eyes* I had zero intentions of buying a PSP in the first place... but thanks for giving me one MORE reason not to! You rock Sony!
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  • gerohmygosh
    It's not going to happen. That would mean they would have to open up a store just so you can trade your UMD's for a digital copy or you would mail them? Something that would be very difficult to do that's for sure. That or did some of you greedy guys out there think you can say you have this game, get the digital copy of it, then sell it to Gamestop or Toys R Us.

    The PSP Go in my opinion is one of the first attempts to see if you can stop the used game business, if it's a profitable market without it and how the public will take it. The way companies like Gamestop see it, you trade in your games and you are able to use the trade-in credit towards new games in the future. The way some gaming companies see it is that ie. one copy of... Uncharted was sold and five different consumers spent $250 (Assuming it was $50) on it, but their profit would only come out of the first $50 and the other $200 was for Gamestop to profit off of.
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