Sony has just revealed its solution to the thorny issue of backwards compatibility between its two generations of PlayStation Portable console, the UMD-equipped PSP and the memory card- and download-based PS Vita. That answer is called UMD Passport. Set to be available from December 6th onwards, this app will offer discounted PlayStation Store downloads of UMD games you may already have bought for your PSP. A couple of hundred compatible games are being promised at launch, with more coming later on.

The process of verification for your ownership of a UMD game will be to download and run a UMD Registration Application on your PSP, which will identify your Universal Media Discs as genuine and credit that in the UMD Passport app on your Vita. Pricing of games ranges from as little as 100 yen to as much as 2,400, though the typical cost to download a copy of something you already own will be between 500 ($6.45) and 1,000 ($12.90) yen. Only the Japanese prices have been announced so far, though you can probably expect the latter two prices to be standardized to $5 and $10, respectively, in the US.

It's regrettable to see Sony charging to let you continue enjoying games you've already bought once, but we're sure PSP users would prefer to have an imperfect option than none at all.