If you really thought that Sony would offer cloud game saves without an ulterior motive behind it, well then you’d be completely wrong. Sure its a nice perk but when you honestly sit down and really think about it, what’s the point? It’s not like a game save file is as big as a game install file (which unfortunately still exists) so where’s the benefit of storing these files remotely especially if what we’re talking about is just a few measly megabytes. After speaking to one of our sources at Sony, it seems that the electronics giant may have something very special brewing for E3, an announcement that will make the NGP simply irresistible when it lands on shelves.
Here at the site one thing that would always come up whenever we discussed Sony’s Next Generation Portable was that with so much power inside of the unit, how would it not cannibalize sales for it’s bigger brother console the PS3? With the ability to pump out HD visuals, combined with strong first part support right out of the gate, why would gamers want to buy the same game twice? We questioned it, and Sony questioned it too, but here is the secret on how that scenario will be avoided. The cloud.
Prepare to have your mind blown.
Try to imagine this scenario (as presented by our source), you’re playing Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception (hypothetical title) at home right before you have to make a trip or commute somewhere. You save your game and it instantly saves to the cloud. You get on the Bus, Train, whatever it is you commute on and you boot up your NGP. Your NGP connects to the cloud; you load up the same title and pick up exactly where you left off, in an almost Netflix-like fashion. How’s that sound? Well that’s exactly what Sony is going for. Think about the (ahead of it’s time) remote-play feature from the original PSP except this time, because of such great hardware and services, it’s finally done right.
So you may be saying to yourself,”wait, does that still involve me buying the game twice?” Well the answer to that is still up in the air, as Sony is toying with the idea of pricing structure, and may lean in the direction of bundles similar to what’s going on with Blu-Rays. Kind of like where you have the option to buy just the movie or a bundle where you get it on different formats for only a few bucks more.
As far as how we would connect to that cloud will be a whole other story but it may provide insight as to how much this thing will actually cost. When we pressed the price issue, the exact words the Sony source told me was, “well we don’t have any cell [phone] towers, and so SOMEONE is going to have to give us service.” He wouldn’t talk price (at all), but when I really pressed him about it, it’s seems like we can expect the NGP to be available subsidized with some sort of 3G data plan. And if you look around at what’s going on with Sony Ericsson and the current exclusivity with the Xperia X10 and PlayStation Suite Phone the Xperia Play it looks like Verizon will be the main 3G-service provider for the portable (in the US).
It’s some pretty juicy stuff and only a tip of the iceberg of what’s to come, as if we didn’t already have enough reason to lust over Sony’s next handheld. To the cloud!