Sony explains the lack of UMD Passport outside of Japan
Shuhei Yoshida, boss of Sony Worldwide Studios has revealed the logic behind their decision not to extend their UMD Passport programme outside of Japan.
The decision has caused quiet a bit of a stir on North America and Europe and left a lot of PSP owners wondering what they should do with their old UMDs after they upgrade to the PS Vita.
Yoshida explained, "The system has been introduced in Japan, where there is a much larger demand for PSP games. When you look at the release schedule of new titles there are still lots of PSP games being released in Japan and being announced for release."
"The other point is that when you look at PSP titles sold digitally in the States or Europe, games are sold for a really reasonable price," he continued. "Because people in Japan are not getting the digital copy for free, because it costs us money to develop and maintain the system so we are asking people to pay somewhere between 5 USD and 10 USD to receive the digital copy in addition to what they have on the UMD. When you compare that to the price of games here, PSP games in Japan are sold at a much higher price, so people see the value in spending the 5 USD to 10 USD to get the digital copy."
Essentially, given that there is still a very high demand for PSP titles in Japan compared to Europe and North America where sales and releases have tailed off Sony feel no real reason to extend the UMD Passport scheme to Western territories.