Sunday, May 1, 2011

To UMD or not to UMD.

   The future of Playstation Portable is ditching the UMD. I was slightly surprised at this move given the "failure" of the PSPgo. I own a PSP 1000 and a PSPgo. I had the PSP long before I got my PS3 and was very happy to find that the PSP was made triply useful by the PS3 and the introduction of the PSN store. So when Sony rolled out the PSPgo I was stoked. Many of the titles I was spending time with were PSone Classics or PSN releases intended downloaded to the PSP.

The PSPgo has a nice small stature and fits easily into my pocket. It didn't bring anything new to the PSP experience for me, but it did make my portable gaming a little more portable. To be quite honest, it was a little less embarrassing to tote the PSPgo around with me particularly if I were to duck into the bathroom. The larger unit stuck out of my back pocket and simply advertised the idea that I was engaged in the stall. The PSPgo was a little bit of a victory in that department.

Which was all good until Final Fantasy Dissidia released. My PSPgo has a 16gb built in memory and I spent a little extra cash and put a 16gb memory stick duo. Still with massive download sizes not to mention the time it takes for said game to download my impatient nature just had me buying the umd.  The NGP isn't going to have the UMD drive, but from what I have gathered there will be some form of memory stick drive that we can purchase. This is where I think Sony is making a mistake.

Psone games played on my PS2. So when I saved up the cash to spring for the new system I already had an  entire library ready to play on the new system. I expected the same for PSone and PS2 games on the PS3. Although legend has it that some systems sold initially did have this ability, neither of my PS3s have.  So I got rid of my PSone because both the PS2 and the PS3 will play the discs. I still have to keep a PS2 to play Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X2 along with a few of my favorites like Shadow of the Colossus (although as I understand it ICO and Shadow will be released on the PS3 in November) Hint hint Square-Enix re release X and X2 for PS3.

So when I got my PSPgo I knew I couldn't pop my UMDs in and play. I hoped and prayed for Sony to do something awesome and offer a few free downloads for existing PSP UMD owners. This did not happen, but for the most part all of the games are available for download for the same price of the UMD and again that big chunk of memory and download time. Frustrating but not a fatal flaw.

So when NGP rolls out I already know I cant play my UMDs on it. Although my UMD library is quite considerable (including a UMD porn flick, I just couldn't resist) it will fall into the realm of no longer supported media. The NGP is supposed to be able to play PS3 games which just might make it all worth it. NGP will play PSone classics according to all the releases I have heard and should be able to handle downloads for the PSPgo and PSP. I can only hope for some PS2 releases for the NGP along with some consideration for those of us who have been loyal UMD buyers. It won't happen, but we can wish.

In the past month I have bought 4 new UMD games. Final Fantasy Disisidia Duodecim was a worthwhile follow up to the original. God of War Ghost of Sparda looks great and plays like a cross between God of War III and God of War Chains of Olympus. I bought 3rd Birthday which also prompted me to snag the PSN download of Parasite Eve. Hint, Hint Square Enix and Sony I need Parasite Eve 2. Final Fantasy IV the complete collection was must have for me. I played the After Years through on my Wii but it didn't have the same feel as the original Final Fantasy IV and left much wanting even with the Wii Classic Controller. Somehow I think the UMD copy will bring it all together.

With that much brand loyalty it is super disappointing to hear the UMD going the way of the dinosaur. It could be argued that I would have been better off with PSN downloads of the games. Somehow though the  digital copy just isn't the same. Besides FFIV the Complete Collection and 3rd Birthday gave me character skin downloads for Dissidia. Plus my game shelf likes being fleshed out! Until the NGP hits I think I will stick with my UMDs and resent Sony a bit for not keeping things going. A good compromise would be a NPG with a UMD drive in addition to all its other features. Unrealisitc, sure, but a man can wish.

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