Dead PS3. A case for cloud storage for save games.

April 26, 2010

My PS3 unceremoniously died last night, making me sad. The fact that its out of warranty and I need to pay to fix it makes me sad. The fact that I’ll likely have to wait 6 weeks makes me even sadder. But what makes me most sad is that all my save games will not survive the process. There is an easy and useful mechanism for backing up save games for the PS3, but I cannot use this if I cannot get into the system’s OS (it’s that broken).

I cannot take the hdd out and extract the save games because the drive is heavily protected and encrypted. This is understandable because having user modifiable save games would introduce an attack vector that Sony would rather not have to worry about, but it does present some rather ugly usability issues. Above and beyond the fact that I’m now unable to extract my save games, even if I had had the foresight to do this, some games do not allow their saves to be transferred to a different system than which originally hosted them.

I believe this must be to prevent some sort of cheating or abuse of the trophy system. Apparently some games can be transitioned between systems, but then disable certain features, such as trophies, for that save file. So, this brings me to my point. Sony is researching ways to monetize PSN by all rumors, so here’s an easy one:

I would pay a small recurring sum to have my save games automatically synchronized with PSN and associated with my account so that I could use them from any PS3 associated with my account. This would be a really nice value add. It would certainly make sense especially for games that you can play on both the PSP and the PS3 (ps1 classics), imagine automatically sharing a save file for a game you were playing on both devices? So, a nice feature for disaster scenarios AND a value add to the platform. Sounds good? Now to wait 6 weeks before having to replay the games I was in progress of completing.