PlayStation owners are restricted from transferring their saves from PS5 versions of games due to their lack of support for USB memory drives.
PlayStation 5 owners are discovering that it’s impossible to back up or transfer their save games without subscribing to PlayStation Plus. In the past three generations of PlayStation, porting a save from one box to another was as easy as plugging in a USB drive, moving the save, and plugging it into another console. While not a use case everyone will run into when gaming, it’s useful for those who attend tournaments and those with multiple consoles in one household. However, it also makes it pretty easy to analyze, alter, and otherwise tear apart saves on a PC, which might be the reason why Sony removed the feature from its latest console.
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The other option for porting saves around is pushing them to the cloud, which will follow players wherever they play as long as there’s an internet hookup nearby. The problem here is that Sony’s cloud saving solution costs money in the form of a PlayStation Plus subscription. For roughly $5 a month if paid yearly, subscribers get free monthly games, downloadable perks in other games, and the option to keep saves on Sony’s servers for backup purposes. While there are plenty of folks who subscribe to this type of service by default thanks to the “free” games, it’s not a guarantee, and the restriction on cloud saves could pose problems for the console in the long run.
As tested by TweakTown, PlayStation 5 games do not offer any options for save transfers outside of the PlayStation Plus cloud. This only applies to the PlayStation 5 versions of games and PS5 exclusives, as PlayStation 4 games can still place saves on USB drives with no issue. This is something that can be patched, but it seems like a deliberate choice to close down the PlayStation 5 ecosystem and prevent malicious parties from ruining online games and diving into the PlayStation 5’s architecture.
On the other side of the console war, things are a whole different story. Xbox not only gives players free cloud saves across its entire library, but it also easily transfers save games between generations. Games on Xbox are treated as one title and download different version depending on the console players load up. Saves games also transfer between platforms and even onto PC in the case of Xbox Play Anywhere titles. Finally, if needed, both new Xbox consoles also support USB drives for save transfer between boxes or just as a handy backup.
Transferring saves between consoles, whether it is through a USB drive or cloud saves, is more niche than enthusiasts might realize, but there are plenty of use cases where the feature comes in handy. From sharing an apartment with another avid gamer to unlocking hidden characters before heading down the street to a friend’s house, it’s the type of thing that used to be taken for granted with memory cards. As of now, PlayStation 5 gamers will either have to subscribe to PlayStation Plus or keep up more than one save game across any consoles they plan to play on.
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