Playstation Plus Update: Online Save Backup

PlayStation Plus logo
Image via Wikipedia

This was something I was hoping would happen for quite some time. I lost all of my saves when our PS3 broke just as I was transferring out data across to our new one, as we knew the original was on its last legs. A service like this would have been great for me back then.

Even now I would this. The problem is that I’m not a plus member, my brother is. He probably wouldn’t benefit as much as me from this service. He doesn’t play a lot of single player games. Most of the games he plays are online and save data remotely anyway.

All of the Plus content except anything transferred to PSP can be played on other accounts on the same PS3 as a plus member. Therefore, it hardly seems worth it for me to pay a £40 subscription just to be able to play minis and PSOne classics on my PSP (when I can play them on PS3 already if I wanted to), back up my saves and have a gold plus next to my PSN name.

Not only this, but the save backup service is very low tech. In a perfect product, you would expect it to automatically upload the updated save to the cloud after every play session ends, and always keep the most recent version synced between the cloud and the system itself. Maybe it could even keep a backup of previous versions so that you could revert to them if your current save gets corrupted. It doesn’t do any of these things, and just allows you to manually upload each save individually, similar to how I used to transfer my assignment documents between home and college using either email or a USB stick.

Those things wouldn’t be easy to add in to an existing product like the PS3 so there’s no real argument to be made. I don’t understand however why there isn’t an option to select multiple saves and upload them in batches as opposed to one at a time. It seems too time consuming and not streamlined enough.

All things considered, this is a nice addition to Playstation Plus. It doesn’t cost any extra and the service was already a fairly good deal before this update, especially if you never downloaded a lot of PSN games before. I’m not sure what they could do to make me want to pay for the service. I would assume quite a lot considering that I can already play the content my brother is paying for, but I’m sure there’s something cool they could do to tempt me. I just can’t think of what it would entail.


Playstation Plus Thoughts

The newly announced and launched Playstation Plus service is an interesting idea. While similar in price to Xbox Live, it doesn’t actually compare in terms of features. While Xbox Live Gold allows you to play online and allows you access to some entertainment features on top of that, it doesn’t give you free content.

Playstation Plus is a kind of Playstation loyalty scheme in which players pay up-front for a subscription for either 3 months or a year for £40 or similar to that in other currencies. I wasn’t really sure at first if it would be worth-it for me to join because of the fact that I already own quite a few PSN games, and I have been very critical of the minis program in the past and still am.

What ended up happening though was that my brother bought a subscription for a year to plus. One of the main reasons for this was because of the special offer for people who join in the first month, which is a downloadable copy of LittleBigPlanet. LBP is one of my favourite games on PS3 and of course I already own a copy. We should now be able to trade in our disc version for credit at the store and make back some of the £40 joining fee. Hopefully the rest of that fee will be made back over the next 12 months.

I’m not sure if the LBP downloadable version is tied to the same expiration date as other Plus content, but when I went into the information page on the game it said that there was no time limit, while other games I downloaded did say they would expire in a year with the subscription if it wasn’t renewed. Even if LBP does expire in a year, I think because LBP2 is coming out a long way before then, and it is fully compatible with all old downloadable levels and DLC, unless you want to play the story levels again, there’s not much need to hang on to LBP.

For people who don’t already own LBP or WipEout HD, the £40 fee is worth paying just for the first month’s content. If you’re like me and you do already have both games, it should be worth the cost to you quite comfortably over the year. It just depends how much you are willing to take a chance that the content will be what you want to play.

If they go forward and add further features such as cross-game voice chat and possibly things like online game save backup then it will be worth the price for even more people and will probably go on to be very successful for Sony. So far it looks like it has a good starting position and can only get better from here.