For those uninformed, the UMD Passport Program is basically a program for the PSP that will let you download the games you own on UMD digitally. This is important regarding the PlayStation Vita as it doesn’t have an UMD drive and relies solely on memory cards and digital downloads for games – in short – don’t expect your PSP games to run on your PS Vita unless you’re planning on buying them again.
Sony’s full press statement can be read below.
SCEA will not be offering the UMD Passport program. U.S. consumers who already own digital versions of select PSP titles will be able to seamlessly transfer those games to their PS Vita system. PSP games played on PS Vita will offer upscaled video quality that’s ideal for the system’s 5-inch OLED screen, along with controls that are optimized for its features such as the dual analog sticks. At the launch of PS Vita, 250 PSP titles (including minis) will be available, and hundreds of additional titles will be available post-launch.
While this is certainly bad news, just remember that you’ll be getting the Vita to play Vita games. If you want to play your old UMDs, I suggest booting up your PSP. Not like you have a choice anyway.