Now as a seasoned veteran in dealing with electronics, I know that sometimes, machines just simply die. That's not really the problem or what makes this a cautionary tale. See, this failure brings to light a classic mistake. One that everyone falls victim to eventually. I had spent almost 15 months playing various games, both disc-based and downloaded games, and storing the save files on my PS3... WITHOUT BACKING ANY OF THEM UP.
Since the first death of my PS3, I started researching the PS3 and whether or not I could restore the hard drive (HDD) to another PS3. And that's when I discovered a couple of things that I hadn't known about the PS3. First, in an effort to combat piracy (specifically movies) Sony introduced a mechanism in the PS3 that formats and encrypts any newly installed HDD in a way that ties that drive to that SPECIFIC console. Transferring my HDD to a newly purchased PS3 would only allow me to reformat the HDD, consequently erasing all the data I would want to save.
Thankfully, all the downloadable content (DLC) for my games is linked to my PlayStation Network (PSN) account so all the items I paid for I can re-download without having to re-purchase. And all the trophies I synced to the online servers aren't lost to me, either. The only data that I'm currently in a position to lose is my game saves. Yeah, that's right. FIFTEEN MONTHS OF GAMING IS NOW OFFICIALLY GONE! I'm looking at a lot of time and effort to reclaim all of that.
Some of my friends and family have taken this opportunity to push the idea of switching to the Xbox 360. Their biggest gambit being that with an Xbox, this wouldn't be an issue. It's designed to allow for the switching of the internal HDD with no issues. And yet, despite all the work I'm going to have to redo, all the battles I'm going to have to re-fight, it's STILL not in me to go to XBox. I won't do it. It simply will NEVER happen.
Now, I'm the first to admit that the Xbox Live Network is better than PSN. But that's not really saying much. Microsoft is first and foremost a COMPUTER company, if their online network sucked it would reflect badly on the computer part of their company. But, here's the thing, I don't play the multi-player options on my games. I'm old school. I play my games on my system by myself. Speaking of games, I will give the Xbox it's due props; they have some serious hit games that are exclusive to the system. But, none that I care about. The only one that they managed to pique my interest on was Ninja Gaiden Black, but once that was ported over to the PS3 as Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Xbox lost it's tenuous grip on me.( Let's also consider the cost of replacing all the games I have for the PS3 for the Xbox. Definitely NOT an option.)
This disaster is not a reason to switch consoles. Because it's not about the console. Don't get me wrong, I HAVE spent the last few days pissed at my console, and even more enraged at Sony for not providing some kind of mechanism to recover the data from my HDD! But, to be completely honest, this is all on me. All the info was out there floating in the CyberWeb InterSpace, if only I'd had the foresight to look into it. but I didn't.
As a seasoned computer tech, I should have been backing up my data regularly, but I didn't. And now, I'm hoping for some kind of miracle. But, I beg of you, my dear readers, take a lesson from Dilking. Back up your data. It doesn't matter if it's your PC, PS3 or any other electronic device. Make backups. Keep them current. Learn from my mistakes. Or you could lose something much more precious than my game save files.
BACK UP YOUR DATA!! DO IT!!! DO IT NOW!!!
Long Live Play!