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Sony Wants To Put Your Game Saves In the Cloud 224

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-floaty-up-there dept.
itwbennett writes "Sony may be planning to have three platforms (Android devices, NGP, PS3) running PlayStation Suite content and needing access to the same saved data stored in the cloud, says blogger Peter Smith. At last week's PlayStation Meeting, game developer Hideo Kojima said his 'dream' was to offer the same game on the PS3 and the new PlayStation Portable with saves in the cloud. If Kotaku has it right, that dream may be coming in firmware version 3.6. Also, in an interview with Engadget, Sony's Jack Tretton first said that PlayStation Suite games would work on the PS3. He then retracted that comment, but it's sounding a lot like Sony just isn't ready to talk officially about plans to bring Suite content to the PS3, says Smith."
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Sony Wants To Put Your Game Saves In the Cloud

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  • Good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:33PM (#35058144) Journal

    Storing game saves in on the network is a great idea. As long as they are also saved offline and are available for manual backups too. Network storage is not a substitute for offline backups.

    • by Kohath (38547)

      They are game saves. Gaming is not banking. If you care that much about the off chance of having to re-play part of your game, consider finding a game that's more fun to play.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        They are book marks. Reading is not banking. If you care that much about the off chance of having to re-read part of your book, consider finding a book that's more fun to read.

        • by Kohath (38547)

          How many redundant bookmarks should I have just in case one gets lost? Maybe I should buy 2 or 3 copies of each book and mark the page in each one, just in case? And I can keep one copy in my bank safety deposit box. Because maintaining this stuff is a good use of time.

          • by Hatta (162192)

            That's up to you. At the very least, you should have the option to save your bookmarks (or saved games) as many times as you wish.

          • by nschubach (922175)

            You only need to lose one save game and have to re-do all the content you just did... just as equivalent as not being able to go back to the chapter in that book you started reading. Games are just like that, except you can't flip the game to Chapter 12 and start there.

            It's not about redundant save games and all that garbage (though some people like to make local copies in case something is corrupted to save them from having to start over.) I feel you are arguing just to argue. You may not enjoy gaming (

            • by Kohath (38547)

              I enjoy gaming, not fooling with backups of backups of game saves. A save and a backup are enough. Cloud saves provide an easy means of backup. It's excellent.

              Why did the original poster need to complain about it as imperfectly secure and risk-free? Perfection and time-consuming backup procedures are overkill for game saves because of the low value of game saves.

              • by Hatta (162192)

                They may be low value to you, but others disagree. I still fondly remember ascending with the Amulet of Yendor. I made a copy of the character info dump at the end, and still refer to it from time to time. Thankfully, Nethack being a free and open game I was able to do that.

                How valuable is that? Not terribly, but I also didn't go far out of my way to get the file. Even for last generation consoles, all it takes is a minute to dump the contents of a memory card onto your file server then it gets backed u

          • How many redundant bookmarks should I have just in case one gets lost?

            It's not a question of redundancy, its a question of if you can trust a company like Sony not to use innovation for evil. The possibility that you cannot save your game unless you are connected to the internet suddenly means that useful tool is actually just another form of legitimate owner punishing DRM.

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              It's not a question of redundancy, its a question of if you can trust a company like Sony not to use innovation for evil. The possibility that you cannot save your game unless you are connected to the internet suddenly means that useful tool is actually just another form of legitimate owner punishing DRM.

              Actually, this is back to the old Ubisoft DRM mechanism where you had to be online in order to save.

              Remember how we all villified Ubisoft for doing this and wanting it to be cracked, blah blah blah. And we

      • by N1AK (864906)
        I've just had my xbox stolen. Save games gone. You might be someone who likes starting over instead of continueing your progress, that's fine, fortunately most other people can accept that others have different requirements. Personally, I didn't want to have to play the first 40 hours of New Vegas through as the same character, I had hoped to finish the game and then play it through again as a different build. I don't really want to do the first 15 hours of Forza 3 again, just to get back to driving the rac
        • by NFN_NLN (633283)

          I've just had my xbox stolen. Save games gone. You might be someone who likes starting over instead of continueing your progress, that's fine, fortunately most other people can accept that others have different requirements.
          In short, cloud game backups would be a definite selling point of a console to me.

          Think of the valuable lesson you learned... at the mere age of 12 years.

          Luckily this is only a game save and not your companies operational data. Who said video games don't teach youngsters anything worthwhile.

      • Problem with requiring a company controlled portal to run the game is the industry has proven multiple times that they're all too quick to kill off network infrastructure required to play the game.

        It also means that you have to have an operational network connection to run the game.

        • by NFN_NLN (633283)

          Problem with requiring a company controlled portal to run the game is the industry has proven multiple times that they're all too quick to kill off network infrastructure required to play the game.

          It also means that you have to have an operational network connection to run the game.

          As if, I can fire up my classic copy of Halo for XBox anytime I want some multiplayer FSP action.

          -turn on system-
          -insert disc-

          .... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        This is silly.

        In many cases, losing a save game is the literary equivalent of getting to the last chapter of a book, and then being told you can't read the final chapter until you RE-read all the chapters before it. That's just work.

        Further, there's a good group of people that play games for the achievements -- and no matter how twisted they might be, losing their progress might represent a loss of hundreds of hours of "work."

        If World of Warcraft said, "Oops, we lost your characters, and we have no backup"

      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        They are game saves. Gaming is not banking. If you care that much about the off chance of having to re-play part of your game, consider finding a game that's more fun to play.

        If I spent a bunch of time in Little Big Planet creating levels or machines, you'd better believe I don't want to have to re-create that shit.

        I actually faced a similar situation with Frequency and Amplitude on the PS2 - I made some remixes and didn't want to lose 'em, but faulty game save code meant that could only be accomplished with backups.

    • Of course... The network storage will be there when your manual backup get lost... If you have a detailed backup policy for your save games, you really need a life.

  • I don't know how many games I've played 1.75 times because I reformatted and couldn't find/forgot about the dang savegame files.
  • Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grapplebeam (1892878) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:34PM (#35058162)
    Saves aren't automatically forced to the cloud if you're someone who will be without internet access for a time. Also, they hopefully won't use this to deter piracy by holding people's save games hostage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Moryath (553296)

      Wow, you're really a hopeful type aren't you?

      It sounds like they're trying to do precisely that - like earlier when Ubisoft tried to make it so your games wouldn't start if you weren't net connected and would die if you lost connection, while holding your savegames hostage.

    • Re:Hopefully (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:59PM (#35058476)

      You may rest assured that they ARE forced into the cloud.

      This is not a feature for your convenience. It's a feature to plug the "security" hole where bogus save game files allowed the circumvention of the vendor lock in.

      Never wondered why some really, really shitty games sold so well? Usually they were because the safe game routine was as crappy programmed as the rest and it didn't check that it allowed a jail break.

      • In the future every game will be MMO - even the single player ones.

      • Maybe you missed this part of his comment:

        ...someone who will be without internet access...

        My satellite receiver is not connected to the phone line or ethernet in my house. It took several months to arrange broadband at home. When I finally got it, I decided not to connect the satellite receiver, or the blue-ray player.

        1. I don't want my family going hog-wild with pay-per-view movies.
        2. I don't want the blue-ray manufacturer knowing what movies I watch. If they want that info, they can offer pay me for it (and I'll still say no).
        3. I don't want the sat

    • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

      by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Monday January 31, 2011 @01:39PM (#35058914) Journal
      I will actually detest this, because I know their copyright fears will get in the way of my legal enjoyment.

      Just this week, I tried to play a game I purchased from the PSN. It has no online interactions. Yet, because I haven't installed the latest firmware, it refuses to let me play. Same would happen if my internet was down.

      Next I finally got around to remembering to backup my saved games. I tried to do Guitar Hero first. I've put several dozen hours into creating custom avatars for friends and family. Guess what-- due to "copyright concerns" or some crap like that, the playstation refuses to backup the file to a USB device.

      All that because I refuse to beta-test Sony's latest firmware, or because they're afraid I'll-- do something?-- with my Guitar Hero saved games.

      If my saved games end up "in the cloud", I can 100% guarantee that at some point, they will be lost, or I will be denied access to them, and will not be allowed to back them up locally.

  • Good idea. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pieisgood (841871)

    Imagine your PS3 hard drive dies. Your saves are online, or your PS3 is in for repairs. You can still use a buddies PS3 and login to an account and play from your last save. Even upgrading to a new console (of the sony variety) and still having your saves for backwards compatible games. That sort of service gives incentive to buy future products.

    Of course there are problems. What if you don't connect your console to the internet? What if the servers hosting your saves go down? Would the servers act as a bac

    • by Twanfox (185252)

      If only there weren't possible talks about perhaps not even being able to take your copy of a game to your friend's house to play... http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/01/21/1655259/Sony-Planning-Serial-Keys-For-PS3-Games [slashdot.org]

      Granted, I don't think they could pull it off, or it might be tied to your account and not your console, but Sony has tried to implement some rather 'out there' solutions for their problems.

    • Nice idea but has potential problems with it, I'm gonna wait until the implementation to pass judgement.. Maybe I'm just a pessimist but I have little faith they'll do it right.

      I doubt it'll be a privacy or anti-cloud problem, but a locally backed up or drm problem.

    • I also want to add that not all users wants to connect to the internet - at all.

      I bought the ps3 so that I could try linux on it and to play single player games. In my book that's where I get relaxation, I just get more stressed when playing against others (and in some cases against time). That's why I loved the game skate for instance. No pressure, just cruising around for a few hours etc. I don't need to be "social" in the ps3 - in fact I don't need to be social at all when using a computer. That's why of

    • I had my PS3 stolen a few months ago. Now I have a new one, and I'd have loved to have all my savegames back, instead of re-playing them.
    • by blincoln (592401)

      Imagine your PS3 hard drive dies. Your saves are online, or your PS3 is in for repairs. You can still use a buddies PS3 and login to an account and play from your last save. Even upgrading to a new console (of the sony variety) and still having your saves for backwards compatible games. That sort of service gives incentive to buy future products.

      Imagine this instead: Sony only allows online savegame storage, without the possibility of local copies (because that might allow someone to duplicate items in game

  • by grimsweep (578372) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:37PM (#35058198)
    Although there's plenty that can go wrong, 'cloud' storage is a cool concept for my save data. It's not fun having to scrounge up a compatible device to backup my PS3's saves when I've upgraded the drive, and I'd hate to have to restart a game on my portable just because I lost my save on a Tiny-Micro-Whatever SD card no bigger than my pinky-nail.

    That said, it raises the stakes on what happens if I decide to jailbreak my devices. Is there always going to be a hard copy, or do I get a nastygram message at startup saying "Your account (and all of those saves) have been locked out due to unlicensed use of your hardware"? Let's not forget that many manufacturers (Sony and Nintendo included) are moving towards digital delivery systems.
    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      Ideally if they can solidly detect your hacking, they'd not just lock you out, they'd either sue you or (if they can find a criminal statute under which to charge you) summon the police.

  • Welcome to 2 years ago on Steam.
    • Saved online and offline. Not many steam games do this though. What's more useful is the control binding saves in the cloud. Rebinding TF2 (and L4D, and L4D2, and Portal, and HL2, and Garry's Mod, and Fallout3... you get the idea) to ESDF is an exercise in frustration. I have no problem with this, as long as you get offline saves too.
      • You think that's a pain? I use Dvorak. I was so happy once control bindings started going into the cloud...
      • Steam supports online and offline saves, saving key binds, (TF2, L4D2, and the HL2 games hve done that for a long time). Not all 3rd parties use the feature though.
  • I, for one, do not look forward to a future where games will be developed to run on both the PS3 and the PSP. I didn't buy a PS3 and connect it to my 1080p TV to play games that are designed to look good on a 5" screen.

    • As long as the mechanics are the same, who cares if the handheld has scaled down polygons or doesn't render at the same 1080p?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Marc_Hawke (130338)

        Have you been absent during the latest era of Console/PC cross-development? They don't design for the high-bar and port down, they design for the low-bar and port up. I know it's a taboo word, but PC games have been 'dumbed-down' so they can also be played on a console. The resolutions and frame-rates are locked, the HUDs use overly large and brightly colored fonts. The controls consist of 4 buttons (which are often displayed on the screen when you are supposed to click them.) The games seem like t

        • Or you could wait for the games to come out. Tekken 5: DR on PS3 looked better than Tekken 5: DR Arcade, and it got a PSP release first.

          Also, reducing inputs isn't dumbing down games, it's getting smarter about development. A game isn't fun if I'm scrambling to read the manual every 5 minutes to make sure I'm doing something right.

  • Could be good! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:42PM (#35058266)

    That could be really good! So long as I wasn't required to be connected to the internet in order to play my games. If there was some kind of consolecloud replication and games could function in a completely offline state it would be pretty great. It sucks balls when Blizzard is offline and I can't get my StarCraft 2 injection.

  • by dummondwhu (225225) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:44PM (#35058278)
    Privacy concerns aside, it seems like a good thing if the save files are *mirrored* online. I could see the benefit of wanting to load up my game elsewhere or having them saved in the cloud when my PS3 takes a dive into the crapper (which happened to me recently). However, I would be extraordinarily pissed if I couldn't play a certain game if my internet connection flaked out or if the servers are down or something like that.
  • by Svartalf (2997) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:46PM (#35058304) Homepage

    Uh, what about those that don't HAVE good network access... I've recently been allowed a glimpse into the pain that many have with these idiot notions that you can simply rely on the "cloud" to get updates, demos, etc. It only sort-of works when you've got access to 3-5 Mbits/sec without caps on the bandwidth (3G networking doesn't work overly well for either unless you've got WiMax/LTE and coverage in your area...and even then, the caps cause their own sets of issues.. It only REALLY works if you've got what I've got back at home or higher, which would be 20 Mbits/sec.

    Until the ISPs are on the same damn page as the companies wanting "The Cloud" it's a non-play. And that doesn't get into the OTHER problems with "The Cloud"- which would be security and reliability of the supplier in question.

    • by alen (225700)

      most of these are just text files. it's not like they are doing a snapshot of the exact graphics

    • by nschubach (922175)

      If you really need that much bandwidth for a save game... the game must really be bad.

      I have all my PC game saves synced with one of those online storage services. I do not have to worry about rebuilding the PC anymore. I rebuild, setup my sync, install the game and pick up where I left off. It doesn't require gigabytes of data for save games.

      • I can't recall the titles of specific games (and yes, some of them do store screenshots of the games which can add some size to the save file) but I have played several games where save files are over 5 MB. And these were for popular PC, PS2 and Gamecube games.This goes for FPS as much as RPGs. So these save games can take a little while to download/upload. Console games on the whole tended to have the smallest save game files.

    • by gnieboer (1272482)

      1- 1,000 people in country "X" are upset at the government, and stage protests
      2- Government in country "X" decided to cut the internet off to prevent coordination of bigger protests
      3- 100,000 console gamers in country "X" can no longer play their saved games, consoles become useless
      4- 100,000 console gamers get very mad and very bored
      5- Suddenly 101,000 people are protesting for a change in government.

      The Cloud... a tool for democracy...

    • by citizenr (871508)

      Uh, what about those that don't HAVE good network access...

      oh its easy - you dont get to play :P
      Assassin's Creed had cloud saves, didnt work too well for Ubisoft.
      There was a VERY NICE talk at last years Defcon about copy protection in games and publishers push for the Cloud integration.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDsICTOSVZ4 [youtube.com]

  • When I buy a game I want to be able to play it as long as I have the ability to do so (as long as my hardware/emulator still works). If any corporation decides it's no longer profitable to keep up the "cloud storage" for my particular game, am I then no longer able to play?

  • If Sony chooses what you do with your games, are they really yours?
  • Both me and a friend of mine have PS3s, and we take turns visiting each other's homes to play games. So we're in the target audience for this feature.

    But we've been getting by just fine by using USB keys.

    So ... why would I want to subscribe to (and presumably pay money for) a feature that I already have? Sure, I have to save onto a USB key manually, but it's just an extra minute after our gaming session.

    • by h3 (27424)

      Hmm, I'm curious which games you've been doing with this. A number of them do not work right or even flat out do not work when transferring games saves like that. In fact, I think for me the majority did not.

      Off hand, I recall Arkham Asylum and Resident Evil 5 did not work at all, and Borderlands does not work right (you can no longer earn trophies and you get constant error messages about it).

  • Not!

    How the hell will I be able to continue my game when somewhere without cloud access (like in a subway)?

    I do hope that this system will implement both local and cloud copies of the save games which are then synched or else the system is utter garbage.

    On top of that, why am I being forced to subscribe to a data plan that I DO NOT WANT! Occasional Wifi access is fine for my needs, I don't have a pressing need to tweet my life or check my emails every god damned minute so I don't want to pay for data access

  • More likely they want to move content to the cloud to enforce their DRM. Get ready for consoles to require an internet connection, because it's not that far off.
  • by Dan667 (564390) on Monday January 31, 2011 @01:03PM (#35058518)
    and have to deal with them limiting your bandwidth the 25Gb per month.
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      I am sure Bell and Rogers Communications would be quick to point out that everyone of their customers have "UNLIMITED" bandwidth on ALL their accounts, a first in the world! Of course if you go past whatever arbitrary download/upload cap that they agree to offer you, you will have to pay above and beyond what you currently pay at some exorbitant rate that they will set as high as they think the CRTC will let them get away with, which as it turns out, is pretty much anything...

    • by Abstrackt (609015)
      Who are you using? I've lived in three major Canadian cities and never had trouble finding an ISP with unlimited bandwidth. Hell, even when Shaw had a 20GB limit back in 2000 they only got mad when I downloaded about 250GB in a month. No extra fees, just a sternly worded letter.
  • We on the PC already have that with Steamcloud. It make some sense, since not only the savegames follow you, but the whole games!.

    You get home, and you can ask for download to Steam some games on the computer of your dad, and you will get the games and the savegames. And wen you get home, the savegames will follow you. Or maybe you have a netbook to, so you can start playing a game on the work (*cough*), continue on a laptop, and finish on your home. You can. But the feature is here: who cares about the h

  • Remember: a corporation's job is to legally make money by offering value that customers are willing to pay for.

    Keeling that in mind, where would the revenue stream be? Unless you can figure out a way to change customers
    to prefer your systems over others, that means it's a pay-for service, that it is unlikely many people will pay for.

    About the only way I can imagine the numbers working out is if you eliminated the hard disk in new units, making
    for a substantial cost savings in hardware. The downside, of cou

  • I've used this feature on Steam several times. Start a long game of Civ 5 (huge maps, epic speed) and play till the sun comes up. Save to the Steam Cloud. Get stuck at work patching servers or something, fire up Civ on the laptop and pick up where I left off. But, it's my choice to save to the cloud or save locally, as it should be.
  • Sony bashers with conspiracy theories are the first to arrival to the thread.

    It's DRM !!!1!!
    They will force you to store in the cloud!!!1!!1one!!
    etc.

    Could we save our outrage after they we get clear confirmation as to what exactly Sony plans to do?

    Personally I really doubt Sony will force you to store your save games in the cloud. LOL

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      As expected... Sony bashers with conspiracy theories are the first to arrival to the thread.

      It's DRM !!!1!!
      They will force you to store in the cloud!!!1!!1one!!

      Gee, too bad you didn't get first post - else you'd be able to say "INB4 Sony bashers!"

  • It would seem that if all saves are forced to the cloud, it would be pretty dam easy to control hackers and home brew. Sure..hack it all ya want..but when you want to save..umm not so much.
  • Seriously, I've ALWAYS wondered this. I can play say Grand Theft Whatever or Assassin's This or Star Wars That or Red Dead Data Packets... and the stupid thing is constantly churning autosaves or save sessions or save points. A staple of gaming.

    But if I go fire up FIFA 11 or Madden or MLB 2k10, I *HAVE* to play a given game through to the conclusion or leave it paused until I'm done. Why?

    Examples: I love a nice leisurely 60-90 minute Madden session, really thinking about the plays, or a leisurely baseball g

  • They do not want to save it in the cloud. They want to own the data and this is the best spin Marketing could come up with.

    The next step will be that you won't be able to get to it if you did whatever it was they do not like and the step after that will be paying to access "your" data, while they are able to sell the info on to third parties.

    And still people think that they actually have a choice, just like when the Corleone family offers protection, you have an option to say no.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for in-the-cloud saves as an OPTION. My gripe is that how long between offering this as a free service, when cloud-saves are the de-facto standard, and when you have to start paying money to be able to load your save games? Sony, like any good business, is out to put money in their pockets. This seems like an easy way to get more money out of power gamers without irritating the casual crowd enough to affect their bottom line.

    Now, give me the ability to push my saves to any server I want and just

  • they shut down dozens of servers right on one morning on the face of japanese swg players, not even warning them beforehand, because they thought they should do it.

    they started deleting characters, houses, all the accumulations of star wars galaxies characters, before they thought it was unprofitable to keep them, contrary to general practice in mmo world. shows how moronic they are by the way - the players who got their stuff deleted wont return to the game anymore now.

    in any case, sony is the LAST
  • XBL does this to a degree with achievements. I'm not sure about actual game saves. But in games like Reach, if my console kicked the bucket tomorrow and I got a new one, it would remember that I had beaten the game on legendary, I have the rank of brigadier, and what other stuff I had unlocked. I even get access to that stuff if I recover my gamertag on a friend's Xbox.

    I'm not sure if it would remember the exact spot I stopped during my last campaign save or not, but that's moot point to me.

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