updated 11:45 pm EST, Tue February 7, 2012
North American PS Vita users must buy games again
Sony in a quick brief has warned that North American gamers won't have access to the UMD Passport program for the PlayStation Vita like their Japanese counterparts. A spokesperson told Kotaku that gamers with legacy, physical PSP titles will have to buy them again if they're available on the PlayStation Store. Japanese gamers can currently register their UMD-based games through the PSP and then pay a much smaller fee to download the digital version.
The company didn't have an immediate reason as to why Americans and Canadians didn't have the same option. Timing issues may play a part, but it may also be a virtue of differing adoption rates for the PSP. Sony's handheld always had a stronger reception in its home country of Japan, but its demand tapered off faster in the US and was particularly bruised by the arrivals of the iPhone and iPod touch.
North America will have access to the Vita in a week's time with the First Edition bundle's arrival on February 15, followed by the more official launch a week later, on February 22.