Friday, January 6, 2012

A Cautionary Tale...

One year, two months, two weeks, and six days ago (not that I was counting), I bit the bullet and bought the PlayStation 3. It was a first gen console with the hardware based backwards compatibility. And despite initial reservations, I LOVED it. I was able to play my PS2 and PS1 games, and I jumped into the new PS3 games with reckless abandon. I enjoyed my first forays into Blu-Ray movies. Later on, I discovered that it could play various types of video files (DIVX, Xvid, WMV, AVI, MP4, etc.) and my previously burned computer data discs and I was TRULY in love. You have no idea how much easier that SINGLE ability of this console made my life. It was simply awesome. Unfortunately, it looks my PS3 has unequivocally died. I tried resurrecting it and for a few days it worked, but now death has come back for my console. In the end, you just can't cheat death.

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.


 Long Live Play!


  1. I already backup my PC on a regular basis, and even triple backup my writing. So I'm good there.

    As for my PS3 . . . well, I have two. So I just use my thumb drive to transfer saves from one to the other on a regular basis.

    But, honestly, I don't think I care enough about my game saves to bother either way. I mean, why do you need it so badly? Do you really replay your games that often? And even if you do, just start from the beginning. I never replay my games (no time), so it wouldn't affect me if I lost all my save data. I also don't store video files for more than the amount of time it takes me to watch them.

    But, yeah, if I were you I would also just get another PS3. The console is simply too valuable for more than just gaming. The 360 just doesn't come close. And plus, the PS3 Slim is seriously one SEXAY beast! :)

  2. Part of the desire to recover my game saves comes from being a computer nerd. Losing data of any kind is seriously annoying to me. But, the core reason has to do with the amount of work I put into the games.

    It takes a lot of time to complete these games. The save files are records of that time & effort. Not to mention proof against the nay sayers who doubt my gaming cred.

    Finally, I was almost at the end of a couple of games. Having to start at the beginning of all that is just a pain.

    I don't store music or videos on my PS3. I have my PC for that. It's the game saves that just made this painful...

  3. yes, i understand my brothers point of view on that....see, with me, i back up my comp on my external constantly. if i delete some stuff on my comp, i always do the same on my external. but when i said i understand, i meant the whole gaming cred. i was in a few "hot spots" with some gamers cuz they thought i was flaking that i was good at a game. not only did i not have my save data, thinking i did, i lost out on a cool trip to a specific video game event....... :-(
    so, i understand the pain of losing save data, especially and specifically right afer you beat a string of particularly tough and annoying bosses. happened to me twice on zelda.....and kingdom hearts!!!! imagine me doing that with CASTLEVANIA!!!! (:-0 oh, the horrors.....*shutter*