UMD (the little plastic-shielded disk used exclusively by the PlayStation Portable) is a dead format. Even Sony knows it - they removed the UMD drive from the last incarnation of the PlayStation Portable hardware. Where does that leave your large collection of UMD-based titles though? While you won't be able to play them on future hardware, according to Japanese site Gigazine (via Andriasang), the PSP's successor NGP might see PlayStation Portable UMD games re-released on the new handheld's card-based format. Strangely enough - long after PSP Go's release - one of PlayStation Portable's last huge exclusives, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, was released exclusively on UMD.
Speaking to the Gigazine, a PlayStation rep clarified two things about the NGP in regards to backwards compatibility; one was that the NGP will support digital copies of PSP1 games, the other is that Sony has no plans to develop a UMD reader for the new device.
The rep explained that Sony is still working with third parties to get most of their UMD titles re-released on the PlayStation Store - and had been since the launch of the PSP Go. The rep also notes that "due to rights issues" some PSP games will never be re-released on NGP.
When it comes to users having to fork out for digital versions of games they've already purchased on UMD, Sony is still investigating ways to make that free.
Are you keen to rebuy your games via digital download or will you hold out for a possible NGP rerelease?