Well, it's no secret that plenty of folks have been talking about a UMD-less PSP since day one, but it looks like that's been the case behind the scenes at Sony as well, at least according to the company's head of product planning, Naoya Matsui. Speaking with GameBusiness.jp, he said that Sony has "planned to release a PSP model without a UMD drive since the very beginning," but that if "we'd simply released the hardware, there wouldn't have been much for everyone to enjoy," adding that Sony "needed to prepare the right environment for it first - things like the transferal of content with the PS3 and PSN, and PC software to manage content like music and movies such as Media Go." Matsui further went on to explain that Sony also had to wait until the "delivery of digital content was on par with the delivery of physical media," which it obviously thinks has now finally happened.

[Via Joystiq]

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Sony exec says UMD-less PSP was "always the plan"