In case you are planning to buy Sony’s new handheld PlayStation Vita and were wondering what will happen to your UMDs, Sony finally made an announcement [JP] today, albeit for the Japanese market only at this point. The company says it will establish a so-called UMD Passport Program to make it possible to download versions of your personal UMD games.
There is a bit of work involved, however: owners of UMD titles first have to download an app to their PSP, insert and register the disc with their PSN account, and then download the game onto their Vita.
Another drawback is that initially, not all titles are supported: Sony published a list of 200 games [JP] that are compatible with the program, and each download will cost players between 500 and 2,400 Yen (US$6.50 to US$31, depending on the game). In other words, you have to repurchase every UMD game that you bought for your PSP if you want to play it on your Vita.
The UMD Passport Program will start on December 6, ahead of the December 17 launch of the Vita in Japan.