PS3 Will Allow Players To Save Data On Cloud Servers

Sony has struggled to develop good reasons for players to subscribe to its premium PlayStation Plus service, but may have an ace up its sleeve to make Plus worthwhile.

Kotaku reports Sony will allow Plus subscribers to save game data on cloud servers, meaning gamers won’t have to use hard drive space and will be able to pull up the data on different consoles. The feature should come with the PS3’s next firmware update.

This is good news not only for Plus subscribers, but for Xbox 360 owners, since Microsoft has a penchant for matching its rival’s innovations.

If you game on a PS3, would cloud saving turn you into a Plus subscriber?

You Can Soon Save Your PS3 Games In Thin Air [Kotaku]

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  1. zombie70433 says:

    I don’t trust anything that involves saving data to a cloud. I want the physical disk in my room, where I can see it.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      “I want the physical disk in my room, where I can see it”

      Yes, but when the game industry lobbies to have physical disks outlawed, only outlaws will have physical disks.

      • zombie70433 says:

        Thats when I’ll dust off my NES, and relive my childhood.

      • Maximus Pectoralis says:

        That isn’t as farfetched as it may sound. Ubisoft did something like that with some of their PC games last year. All saves were done on their remote servers, not onto the player’s disk. And if you lost your internet connection during play, the game would kick you out. Naturally the game pirates / hackers managed to find loopholes and work-arounds within weeks of this system coming online, but Ubisoft has continued to saddle its paying customers with this onerous system.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      What about saving stuff like game saves, or maps you create?

      I know when I had to swap out my old 360 20GB hard drive for a bigger one it would have been awfully nice to have had some kind of cloud option for moving the data. Instead I needed some stupid cable to do it.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Im sure the game companies love to see comments like yours. Using a $5.00 cable is so inconvenient to my life that I would rather pay a monthly fee to save those precious few minutes that it would take if I used said cable.

        • pdj79 says:

          Since when was it $5? When I upgraded to an Xbox Elite with the 120GB harddrive I had to purchase a $20 transfer kit that was “one-time use”. Luckily, when I then upgraded to the new Xbox Slim I was able to use that cable to transfer everything from my Elite to the even larger 250GB drive. I see what you’re saying, but at the same time, if they are following Sony’s model, it’ll be built into your Xbox Gold account, which you already HAVE to pay for. Silver members would be left out, just like the free PSN users. I for one am all for this, as it’s quite the pain to have to copy my save games and profile to a thumb drive and then remember to take it with me whenever I head over to my friends’ house for a night of gaming. To be able to just recall it from the Cloud would awesome.

    • Communist Pope says:

      What’s stopping you from having it on the cloud and on a physical disk? That way, if your PS3 dies, there’s a fire, etc., your saved game data won’t be gone for good. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is never a good idea, no matter how much you love your basket of choice.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    No, because we play, at most, three games, on a consistent basis. Even when I buy Modern Warfare, it wouldn’t affect me mostly because we don’t save a huge amount of game data anyway. Cloud servers would be more helpful if we played a lot of games with a lot of game data that needed to be stored.

  3. Judah says:

    This means if the cloud gets hacked, I lose my data save. It means if they don’t like me or have contract disputes with their 3rd party game makers, they modify or delete my data saves. Why I can’t I save on my local equipment? It’s only a small step from ‘allow’ to ‘require’, and it seems like this may be the next wave of DRM-like inconveniences.

    • gnordy says:

      My understanding is you will save in the same way you always have, and still have a save copy on your system. However, you will sync your saved data with the “cloud”. It would probably be similar to how the Trophy sync currently works.

      Of course it is optional, so if anyone is concerned, don’t use it.

  4. Sparkstalker says:

    While a nice feature, no I won’t subscribe.

  5. MerlynNY says:

    I like the idea! My 360 HD is always filling up, so it would be nice to have something cloud based.

  6. Tim says:

    Wow, commenters really don’t like cloud storage. Good thing no one uses IMAP for e-mail.

    • comatose says:

      I’m leery of cloud services too. Regarding IMAP, I don’t have gmail BUT I do have Yahoo! Mail (paid) and I use that IMAP at home. However, my Thunderbird/Eudora client saves the stuff (optionally, but I took the option) to my hard drive so if there’s ever a loss I have everything also backed up locally. Same is possible with gmail I would imagine.

      • Maximus Pectoralis says:

        This. Thunderbird and Outlook will save local copies of all email. Otherwise I’m sure downloading your entire inbox every time you open the mail client would take forever!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’m not really bothered by cloud servers but gmail is free. This isn’t something I’m interested in, not because of the cloud aspect, but because I don’t really need it and I really don’t want to pay for it.

    • amuro98 says:

      It’s not the cloud-server thing, it’s the purpose for using it.

      Game save data is minuscule. We’re talking about a few kbyte to maybe a few hundred kbytes. PER TITLE. Only a few games use more than a megabyte. On my 360, my user profile plus the save games from the 2 dozen odd games I’ve played over the past 3 years doesn’t even add up to a gigabyte. Yeah, when I only had a 20GB drive in my 360 this might be a concern, but then again, if I deleted a game demo, that usually freed up a 1+GB right there.

      Even the smallest PS3 hard drive is 40GB, and can easily be upgraded to up to 500GB (without violating your PS3’s warranty.)

      Furthermore, if you really are interested in off-console storage for backup and/or mobility purposes, there are these things called USB Thumbdrives. Heck you can get 1GB thumbdrive from vendors at a tradeshow, and Microcenter was giving out 2GB thumbdrives if you signed up for their mailing list. OR…just pay $10 and buy one.

      So…um…what’s the point? I know PSN+ has other features, but this hardly seems worth the monthly fee Sony wants.

  7. Outrun1986 says:

    I am not sure how it works but sounds like a nice feature, but it would only really be useful if you could save your game to the disc first, then upload it to the cloud whenever you wanted to back up. Probably not a feature worth paying for. If the cloud somehow had a disaster your saves are gone.

    I don’t own the Xbox 360 or PS3 so

    • gnordy says:

      It is a lot more likely that you PS3 will have a problem where you lose your saves than for Sony’s servers and backups to stop working. Worse case, you would still have your save on you PS3 and any backups you want to create at home.

  8. Lestonw says:

    Xbox already does this! All you have to do is chose recover game tag and you can download your gamer profile, many game saves and even download you arcade games. No matter what console.

    • corrie06 says:

      You can’t recover your saved games if they were on a hard drive or memory card that failed (or was lost/stolen). You CAN recover your gamertag and any DLC you purchased.

  9. Lestonw says:

    Xbox already does this! All you have to do is chose recover game tag and you can download your gamer profile, many game saves and even download you arcade games. No matter what console.

    • Lestonw says:

      Sorry for 2 posts website failure! Also the writer should do a little more research. All of you at consumerist have good stories but usually half baked.

      • Ducky21 says:

        This is deliciously ironic because you yourself did not do enough research about recovering.

        As someone who recovers their GT frequently, it restores your GT, profile info like motto, achievements, and friends list. Themes, console settings, network settings, saves, and the actual DLC data aren’t saved. You have to login with your GT and redownload the DLC though.

  10. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Playstation Plus charges for what Steam already does for free. Okay, now that the obligatory fayboy-ism is out of the way…

    This makes sense for Playstation, as I recall Playstation game saves taking up a stupidly huge amount of space…

    • Maximus Pectoralis says:

      I wonder if this will allow synchronization between disk and cloud, or if it will be a choice between disk OR cloud? A choice (disk / cloud / both) would be ideal IMO. This would be compelling to have remote backups and remote access to save games, but without having the potential lag of downloading over the internet or inability to access games during internet outages.

  11. jason in boston says:

    People are afraid of cloud storage? What year is this?

    If it is important data, then if it doesn’t exist in 3 places then it doesn’t exist.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    “PS3 Will Allow Players To Save Data On Cloud Servers”

    So now they have all of my data, while I only have acces to it?
    This reminds me of house movers who hold your belongings hostage and of online photo storage sites that delete your photos if you don’t pay on time. This somehow reminds me of Facebook also in that it will somehow become evil in a way we can’t pinpoint right now.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      So now they have all of my data, while I only have acces (sic) to it?

      Kinda like when you buy software, you don’t really own it, right?

      The cloud giveth, and the cloud taketh away.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        In George Orwell’s “1984,” government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.”

        On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole — by Amazon.com.

        In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.
        An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function. “When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers’ devices, and refunded customers,” he said.

        Amazon effectively acknowledged that the deletions were a bad idea. “We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances,” Mr. Herdener said.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/technology/companies/18amazon.html

        • Red Cat Linux says:

          Stories like these are what freaks me out about Kindle. But you can actually use a smart phone or PC as a Kindle reader. I wonder if they reached out and touched PCs the same way? That would have put a knot in my undies.

  13. Robofish says:

    This may make me switch over to a plus subscriber. The program keeps getting better

  14. g051051 says:

    I thought I read about this feature when Plus was first announced, so it’s not really news. However, the cloud thing is of no interest to me. PSN Plus as a whole has nothing of value, and actually is a negative for me, because they restrict things like demos as early access items. That just seems idiotic…why would you want to delay people from playing a demo or buying a game, essentially charging me a fee to buy a game? Feel free to offer “discounts” and other nonsense, but it just hurts everyone when access to demos and purchases are restricted to Plus subscribers.

  15. hoi-polloi says:

    Personally, I don’t see much value in this. I have both a 360 and PS3. So long as I occasionally clean up after myself, I don’t have storage issues. Also, you’re now dependent upon online access to play. If my internet connection is out or if I take my system somewhere without access, I still want to be able to play.

    That said, having saves automatically back up to a cloud would give a certain amount of comfort. If your system is stolen, or if the hard drive fails, you can recover your data.

    • gnordy says:

      True, I think it would be kind of silly if Sony positioned this as a way to save space on your HDD. All of my saves total fit on a 512MB SD card. I think the true benefit is being able to have a backup in the cloud (everything would still be saved on your PS3, so no worries about offline play).

      • hoi-polloi says:

        Thanks for clarifying. The Kotaku article mentioned saving hard drive space, so I wasn’t sure if the cloud was intended for back-up or the primary means of storage. It’s interesting, but not something I’d spend extra on.

    • nonsane says:

      I’m suprised at the hate for PS plus. But maybe i am just getting more out of it.

      Also, i enjoy the extra demo’s and beta’s (LBP2 beta for example was great)

      PS Plus has single handedly filled my PSP with games. I probably will never buy another game because of the PS classics and mini’s they’ve made available for download.

      The discounts have saved me about 10$(and i’m not a big spender on PS Store)

      And this would definately be a feature i would enjoy, as i do worry about if my harddrive were to die on the PS3. I would have to buy a spare 500GB hard drive just to make backups.

  16. waystland says:

    Well if you are in Canada it will be bad, the stupid CRTC A$$, have allowed UBB internet,
    internet caps are going to be enforced ( have started with Shaw), how would you like a 25mb download capped at 60g a month… the MOST you get is 175g a month DL with a 50 mb speed…
    talk about BS services lie his will not be working well in Canada, along with Netflix.. Canadians are being put into the dark ages……
    i hope the Harper Government steps in and scraps this BS from the CRTC….
    and this is all because of Bell Canada… dump them

  17. gnordy says:

    I am excited about this. Two main reasons

    1) I have lost saved data 2X on my PS3. Even though I backup, I do not do it often enough. This makes back up easy; it will probably be the similar to trophy sync.

    2) A year from now, I will have a PS3, “NGP” and PS Suite on my Android phone. I will be able to share save data for any games that may work on all 3 systems. Think FFVII, I play on my PS3, but I will also be able to play on my NGP, now I don’t have to put the save on a memory card to transfer.

  18. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    “Microsoft has a penchant for matching its rival’s innovations.”

    …what innovations? Outside of the Wii, none of the three major consoles this generation were terribly “innovative.” They’re all awesome, and I loves them and plays them so much, precious, but they’re both iterative at most.

    I guess you could argue that Live/PSN are “innovations,” but I feel like they’re still more iterations on previous generation consoles’ online offerings.

    • QuantumCat says:

      That’s a fair point, but the shift in *focus* to a unified and seamless (supposedly) online experience is something unique to this generation of consoles. Prior to this, online offerings were haphazard and poorly integrated.

      Also, I love Netflix streaming on consoles–the XBL feature to watch streamed movies in a group with people across the country is nice for keeping in touch with friends. I’m unsure if the PS3 or Wii have the party option–I own all 3, but my friends mostly only own XBoxes.

  19. dush says:

    So if your internet goes down you can’t continue your game? No thanks.

    • KingPsyz says:

      you still save to the HDD… I don’t know where everyone is getting this saving space thing from…

      The cloud save allows you to backup saves to play at a friend’s house without loosing any progress, or if something happens to your PS3 re-download all your data on the new one.

      • hoi-polloi says:

        The article itself is misleading on that point:

        “The advantage of this is that not only does it save the user space on their hard drive, but since it’s tied to a PlayStation Network account, it can be pulled down to different consoles whenever and wherever the user desires.”

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      It’ll probably work the same way that Steam’s Steamcloud system works: Each time a save is made on the hard-drive, a duplicate of that save is made and filed in the cloud server.

      For example, you’ll occasionally get this error message if you crash out of your game and try to load it again afterwards:

      “Caution: The save file on this game does not match the last recorded Steam Cloud sync. Do you want to revert to your last Steam Cloud save file?”

  20. Bizdady says:

    Now if only my ps3s would stop dying! my Launch unit had a bluray drive die and need replacing $150 bucks for repair. Now my new Ps3 Slim is crapping out 1 week out of warranty and sony wants to charge me another $150 bucks. Its like they know when your 1 year warranty is out and they die on purpose.

  21. B. Kong says:

    Not for me as I only play at home. But when my son gets old enough and plays games at friends’ houses I’m sure I’ll be subscribing for him.

    • amuro98 says:

      Why? Buy him a 1GB thumbdrive (you probably have a stack of these anyways) and he’s all set.

      Remember, this is only for GAME SAVE DATA, not the game itself. We’re talking about way less than 1MB of data PER TITLE for most games out there.

  22. HeroOfHyla says:

    I’m absolutely not interested. My internet connection simply isn’t reliable enough to depend on it for saving my games.

    I have comcast by the way.

  23. Amnesiac85 says:

    People seem woefully uninformed about this. You can still save your game on your HDD as well as the cloud storage. If the internet goes down, just load from your HDD. For someone who had a PS3 break on them and had to get it replaced (and all my saves were lost), this is awesome. I think I’ll be investing in it.

  24. superberg says:

    Where was this a month ago, when my PS3 died? I would have KILLED to have auto-backup at that point.

    Yes, I would drop the money for this service. All it takes is the loss of one almost-finished game of Fallout to make this worthwhile.

  25. TheGreySpectre says:

    What is more interesting then the fact that it allows for cloud saves is the fact that the new firmware allows for remote code execution by sony.

  26. Press1forDialTone says:

    All cloud computing is based on the business model that it is better
    for you to willingly give up your entire personal life and activities to
    the business world that try to bribe you with a free case of Charmin Ultra.
    All cloud computing is just a throw-back to timesharing computing (I’m old
    enough to know) without the security, but with a “fancy” terminal.

  27. Communist Pope says:

    This is something I’ve been wishing Microsoft would do for its Xbox gold subscribers. It’s not as if saved game files generally take up a lot of disc space, so even 1 or 2 GB would be fine. And speaking from experience, it really sucks to lose several years worth of saved game data due to unexpected circumstances.

  28. Bsamm09 says:

    Please fix “Connection Interrupted” for Black Ops – I was crushing team deathmatch last night and lost connection 20+ times.

  29. yagisencho says:

    I’ve got exactly one PS3, which I use it almost exclusively for Blu-Ray and Netflix. So…no, this gamesave backup service isn’t tempting me to spend more money.

  30. golddog says:

    No it won’t turn me. For one, it’s almost completely unnecessary. Save games take up such a small fraction of hard drive space. One can also move them to an external drive for back up and delete them off of the PS3 if space *is* an issue. Even in a YLOD situation, you’re not playing your games unless you have more than one console and your save games will remain on the hard drive.

    And will I be able to use my save games when Sony decides that June 31, 2011 is a leap year in the cloud?

  31. QuantumCat says:

    Honestly, as much as I applaud Sony for allowing people to access things like Netflix or play games online without a premium subscription, the fact they do allow that is probably a contributing factor for why they’re “struggling to find good reasons” for people to subscribe.

  32. amuro98 says:

    I don’t get it, and apparently someone at Sony failed at math. Again.

    How large does Sony think game save files are? Looking at my 360, most save files don’t seem to exceed 1MB for each game. A few games have large (>1MB) save files but for the most part, we’re looking at no more than 1MB per game. Ok, tell you what, I’ll say each PS3 game uses 5MB per game per user on the console. This means that 200 games worth of saves will use up a whopping 1GB! Does anyone even own 200 PS3 games?

    OMG! That’s horrible! That only leaves, what, 119GB or 249GB for the user’s other files?!?

    Ok, so being able to download my saves to another PS3 – like when I’m across the country visiting relatives – sounds neat…or for a one time $10 charge, I can buy a thumbdrive and do the same thing. In fact every game console since the PS1 could do this with their own memory cards.

    And hey, the thumbdrive ALSO gives me a backup mechanism – albeit, one that I have to manually use.

    Granted, PSN Plus gives you some other features as well, but Sony’s going to have to do a lot better than some corporate buzzword-ified feature that’s better served with a $10 thumbdrive.

    • QuantumCat says:

      I checked my PS3–you made a good guess. My saved games range from 1 to 4 MB. Of course, that is per save, so I have make 3-4 save games per game I own. That being said, my usage is still minuscule compared to the storage space available.

  33. iamcraig says:

    Sony needs to concentrate more on keeping their firmware updates from making our PS3s shit the bed.

    • golddog says:

      Yeah no kidding. You know what would make me think about signing up? A freakin’ automatic hash check so I could have a shred of confidence upgrading the weekly 175 FW udpate OTA. Wait I take that back. That should just happen…not require a special subscription.

  34. oldtaku says:

    Sony needs a reason to get you to sign up for PSN Plus and to force you to take the mandatory anti-homebrew updates.

  35. babaganoush says:

    Mommy, daddy, what is the cloud?