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GT5 fans, hold on to your PS3’s! (The brief history of game save locking)

Your garage in GT5

One inconvenience for users who want to buy their second PS3 for a variety of reasons, or simply continue a game at a friend’s house, is locked game saves. In the early times of PS3, few games, if any, used locked game saves. This allowed people to share their save files, not a bad thing at all, but also allowed the users to easily backup their game saves, take it anywhere, and continue their game on another PS3. The open nature of the save files also lead to some save file hacking, with the potential to give unfair advantage to users in competitive multiplayer or leader boards. That’s the major negative side of unlocked saves.

After the introduction of trophies, the importance of verifying the validity of the trophies were paramount to the success of trophies. Rampant cheating to earn trophies would nullify the aim of introducing the trophies in the first place. Cheating in single player is a way to play, and can be entertaining, so devs came up forms of “legal cheating” which allowed users to enjoy perks, at the expense of trophies: One prime example is God of War 3, which disables trophies when you use certain items.

The trophies meant that user shouldn’t have been able to give themselves advantages through cheating by modifying the game save, or to earn trophies only by modifying the save. Game save locking began… With one big, horrendous mistake on Sony’s part. Games that are save-locked are locked to the specific PS3 that the game is being played on. This is utterly pointless and inconvenient, as you cannot move your saves to another PS3, or back it up for restoring to another PS3 if a catastrophe occurred. People who have multiple PS3’s cannot continue their game on their second PS3’s. Such locked saves cannot be transferred to other PS3’s, even through system backup. This is not acceptable, but since most games are 7-8 hours long, and your bragging rights are safe by means of the trophy system, most games may be forgiven for locking their games using this manner, although I still cannot comprehend why games are not being locked to PSN ID instead of a specific PS3. I don’t know who in their right mind thought this was the best method to ensure the security of save files.

While I say the 8 hour typical single player games can be forgiven. the game save locks pose a big threat to GT fans, who will pour hundreds of hours to the game. Continuing the game on another PS3 will not be possible. Any permanent problem with the hardware will result in the loss of all those beautiful cars in the garage. The blame would rest on Sony, as they have made it impossible to backup such games another system. GT5 is an endless game. Fans will play it until GT6 or even afterwards. Such a game needs to provide more convenient methods to ensure the safety of the player’s achievements.

Sony should provide libraries to developers for locking saves to PSN ID’s, and important games such as GT5 should be patched as soon as possible. This will allow people to backup their saves while providing security for the Trophy system. This will allow people to continue their games on different PS3’s they own. This will allow more hardware sales. It may sound weird, but people would be more inclined to buy a second PS3 for variety of reasons, if they knew they could transfer their saves. Owning multiple PS3’s is not unheard of, and I dare say it would be more common if Sony fixed this problem.