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Sony announces UMD solution for PlayStation Vita

Last month, we reported on Sony’s somewhat vague plan for handling UMD-based games with the PlayStation Vita, which doesn’t support the primary media format used by its predecessor, the PlayStation Portable. Today, Sony offered up some concrete details about the company’s plan to handle PSP owners’ transition to Vita’s UMD-less world — and we suspect it’s going to disappoint more than a few PSP loyalists.

The solution is called “UMD Passport,” and will require PSP users to download a free app that will allow them to register their UMD games on their PlayStation Network accounts. Once their UMDs are registered, users will be able to purchase them at a reduced rate as a downloadable game for the Vita.

The UMD Passport service will kick off in Japan next month — specifically, December 6 — and registered games will be available for download once the Vita goes on sale in Japan (December 17). The digital versions of the games will be priced anywhere from $1.29 to $31.

Not all UMD games will be available as digital downloads, though Kotaku has a list of a few UMD titles and their respective prices as digital downloads for the Vita.

More information is likely to become available as we get closer to the Vita’s release date.

The Playstation Vita arrives in North America and Europe next year, on February 22.