At the start of any new hardware generation, backwards compatibility is an important feature in the eyes of most gamers.
And when we first heard about the PlayStation Vita, it seemed those with extensive PSP libraries wouldn't be left behind. In Japan, Sony is working on a PSP UMD import program, which will allow old PSP titles to function on the slick new handheld. And we had assumed Sony would implement a similar program in other regions.
But unfortunately, according to Kotaku , North American portable aficionados won't be able to transfer their physical PSP media to the Vita. The way it works in Japan is a little complex but we could've used it: basically, if you can prove ownership of a particular UMD for the PSP, you can download that same game in digital format for the Vita. You "prove ownership" by registering the product online with your PSP.
This isn't free; there's a fee for each transfer. Some can be around $10 but others can be as high $30 (based on the yen to the dollar conversion). However, price won't be an issue here in the US…'cuz we won't be getting any such program. Just don't forget that any PSP games purchased on the Store, including PS1 Classics and Minis, will play on the Vita.