PlayStation 3 owners who are also PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to save game data in the cloud, Sony announced today.
After updating the PlayStation 3 with firmware version 3.6, which rolls out tomorrow, PlayStation Plus subscribers will find a new backup utility on their console. Users can go to the utility and upload up to 150MB of saved-game data to the cloud. Up to 1,000 data files can be stored on the service. The storage is connected to the user's PlayStation Network account, Sony says.
Sony's new feature goes beyond storage. Users can download their saved game data on any other PlayStation 3 after logging in to their PlayStation Network accounts. In other words, if a gamer is playing a title at home and backs up his saved game to the cloud, he can pick up where he left off at a friend's house. The only requirement is a game disc and the ability for PlayStation Plus subscribers to connect to the Web to access the data.
The addition of cloud storage to Sony's online suite could be a boon for gamers. The feature could make the process of continuing a game away from home much easier. And since it doesn't cost users any more to access it, that feature makes the $49.99 annual fee for the PlayStation Plus service even more valuable.
But as with anything else, there is a limitation to Sony's new feature. According to the company, any single file can only be downloaded once per day. However, users can download multiple files each day without limitation.
A Sony representative confirmed to CNET today that the 24-hour rule applies only to each piece of saved data. Gamers that play a title at home, upload their saved game to the cloud, download it at a friend's house, make more progress, and then upload that saved data to the online storage can then download that file when they get back home to continue from where they left off.
Sony says that its new cloud-storage feature will work with "most" PlayStation 3 games and new games coming out from now on will support online storage, as well.