Sony wants to put your game saves in the cloud. Why?

In a future patch (firmware version 3.6), Sony is going to enable Playstation 3 game saves to be stored in the cloud. This information came to us via Kotaku last Friday.

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At first glance it seems like a curious feature for a gaming console. The vast majority of users play on only one system, after all. In theory cloud-saves would be useful in case of a hard drive failure or if you often play at a friend's house and want to use your own game save, but these are more or less edge cases. However last week at Sony's Playstation Meeting 2011, game developer Hideo Kojima said his dream was to offer the same game on the PS3 and the new Playstation Portable (code-named NGP) with saves in the cloud. It sounds like perhaps his dream was something he knew would be possible in the near future. There was also some confusion over whether Playstation Suite (Android gaming) content would run on the PS3. In an interview with Engadget, Sony's Jack Tretton first said that Playstation Suite games would work on the PS3, then retracted that comment, saying he may have misspoken. He also said that Suite software would go beyond just games. It sounds to me like there are plan to bring Suite content to the PS3 but Sony isn't ready to talk officially about it. If so, saves and other stored content in the cloud would be a logical requirement for a modern experience. We don't want to have to sync our device to our PS3 every time we're leaving the house, after all. So potentially we'll have three platforms (Android device, NGP, PS3) running the same software and needing access to the same saved data. Firmware 3.6 sounds like it is the first step towards delivering a unified experience to Playstation Network users.

Peter Smith writes about personal technology for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @pasmith.

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