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GAMING NEWS: The Cloud: changing the game

June 12th, 2013 by Marc Comments

There’s nothing more devastating than losing a game save for a game you played hundreds of hours, especially if it’s a game where data from the saves carries over to the sequels, such as Mass Effect. Plenty of horrible disasters can happen to your saved files, from your hard drive dying, to system theft, to system damage, to a misclick erasing all of your work. Many game companies are getting on board with cloud storage, which is a virtual location that enables your files to be accessible from any device, to save you from the ultimate in gamer frustration.

Console Cloud Saves

Console game systems have used various methods of saving your games over the years. First, you had to input long and complex passwords to get back to where you left off. Then, cartridge-based battery backup storage became the norm. The Playstation era ushered in memory cards. Then, consoles included their own hard drives to go along with the memory card system. Now, consoles are beginning to heavily integrate cloud-based services. Microsoft recently announced the launch of Xbox One, a gaming and entertainment system with cloud integration, while Sony purchased cloud gaming service Gaikai last year. Not only are game saves going to the cloud, Sony’s Playstation 4 is also using cloud technology to speed up delivery of game demos and downloads, allowing users to stream games in a similar way to Netflix, according to writer Jeff Bakalar at CNET. Cloud saves are useful in the event of a console dying, or if you want to sign into your account on another console.

PC Game Cloud Saves

The PC is certainly not left out on the cloud front. The largest digital distribution client for PC, Valve’s Steam service, allows developers to offer Steam Cloud saves, according to Steam Games. If a game developer or publisher makes this feature available in their games, players’ saves are automatically uploaded to the cloud. If the computer hard drive dies, the saves are still safe. Steam allows players up to 100 MB per game of cloud storage, so it’s likely all of the player’s files are safely saved without any difficulty.

Creating Your Own Cloud Backups

Steam’s cloud saving feature is a lifesaver, but not all publishers code their games to work with the Steam cloud service. Also, some publishers and developers don’t make their games available on Steam at all. Instead of worrying about losing saves due to a hard drive crash or computer theft or damage, players have the option of using their own cloud storage services. Cloud storage is widely available in many markets outside of gaming, so there are plenty of places for the saved files to call home. One such service is BackupGenie, which allows you to back up your files quickly – for more information, check out this Cloud Storage Finder BackupGenie review. Depending on your cloud storage provider, you’re able to back up a variety of file formats and use them on several different devices.

Have you used cloud storage in gaming? Leave your thoughts about gaming in the cloud in the comments.

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….