UMD transfer system rumoured for Vita, for a special price

Remember how PSP Go was supposed to let you transfer UMD games onto the system’s hard drive? Well, it never happened. The closest we got was a reward scheme that let you get some free games if you registered any single UMD, even though the message that flashed up on the screen said ‘you may now download this game from the PlayStation Store’. Well, it’s all coming back, only this time with Vita, if rumours are to be believed. Only this time, suggestions are that you can pay a small fee and transfer any game.

The rumour comes from Andriasang who state a pamphlet was distributed by Sony at a Vita sales briefing. Crucially, nobody has access to the pamphlet itself, which leaves us somewhat in the dark. However, reports are also circulating that Sony Computer Entertainment development head Yoshio Matsumoto told Dengeki PlayStation this week that Sony is looking into offering a service where the digital versions of UMDs may be available at a ‘special price’ if you own the UMD of the game in question. We contacted Sony directly, but they had no comment to make.

Above: There’s no UMD slot in the Vita. But don’t worry, it has its own proprietary format

The ‘special price’ idea is a much better solution than the current digital model for PSP games, many of which are way overpriced compared to their retail UMD equivalents. But it does beg the question – will games where the rights have expired still be available for transfer? I’d love to play F1 06 or OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast on a Vita (especially if the game runs more smoothly, iPhone 3G/3GS style) but both those games’ licenses have expired.

Getting this right and appeasing everyone is going to be mighty tricky. From a personal point of view, having paid £225 for a PSP Go on launch day, a full UMD transfer service for Vita would be met with much gnashing of teeth, a declaration of shenanigans and a beeline for the nearest broom. Y’know, just sayin’.

11 Oct, 2011

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