So I woke up this morning and realized that the Vita's launch is a mere three days away. If you are familiar with my unique taste in video games, you should not be surprised that there is nothing on the launch list that tantalizes me.
Alas, my PSP is on its last legs and it just seems more practical to upgrade to a Vita. It can play PSP games that I own digital versions of. And Sony has graciously provided a method to allow me discounts on the digital versions of UMD games I already own! Hooray!
Getting the software is easy enough. Just log onto the PSN Store on your PSP and search for UMD. You can also poke around through the menus if you want, but searching is the fastest I found. Download the application, start it up and then put in a UMD when it asks! I have nine UMDs total so…
Let's try the games!
Breath of Fire III (Region 3) – Denied!
The 3rd Birthday – Nope!
Last Ranker – Nada.
Persona – Success!
Riviera – Failure.
Half Minute Hero – Discount!
Far East of Eden PC Engine Best Collection – No discount.
Crisis Core – No discount for Gackt software, apparently.
Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection – No dice!
Okay so two out of nine. And to be fair, one isn't even a Japanese region UMD. So two out of eight, although I strongly doubt BoF3 would be on the list anyway since it is a Capcom game.
I do like how the error is this game isn't available for discount OR its rating is higher than the age settings my PSP account allows. I wonder if there is a way to block AKB48 dating sims themselves.
What happens if I try to register a game I have already registered?
Just a generic looking error. Oh well, that is to be expected.
So now, let's discount shopping!
Unfortunately, I didn't find anything in the store that let me access my registered games directly.
Okay then! Let's searching!
Finding Persona was fairly easy. And by fairly easy I mean I had to use the slow PSP input system. Either way it came up in the search and look!
Five hundred yen! I'm pretty sure a used copy of the UMD sells for less than that at most stores right now. But there it is. And not only is it on sale for me, it specifically says that it is the UMD Passport discount. Okay, now let's find Half Minute Hero or 勇者30 as it is known in Japan.
There it is! Only took me about 15 button presses. Of course I already had a rough idea where it would be. And it is another ¥500 game!
So, I'm pleasantly surprised that two of my games actually showed up. And they are at the "reasonable" price. Of course, the games I really want to play on my Vita are not available.
Overall the software feels like it was slapped together very quickly. It is not particularly inviting to me, someone upgrading from the PSP to the Vita. Were it not for my PSP not able to function without being plugged into a power source, getting a Vita day one would lose even more luster.
Sure, they want me to buy PSVita software. I get that. But the whole thing, the lack of an option to take me directly to the store after I register the software, no list of what I have registered (or at least it is not easy to find) and the general boringness of the UMD Passport software doesn't really scream "Thanks for being a PSP user. We hope you enjoy the Vita." It feels like an obligation rather than an exciting gateway to get me to drop my PSP and go one hundred percent Vita from now on.
Were the download versions I'm getting priced at zero yen, I'd expect that. But I'm paying for these, albeit at a discount. This is almost free money for Sony and the developers. I already bought the game once. However Sony does not seem to be making any solid effort to not have an awkward and clumsy presentation.