As XBOX 360 Live Gold substriction gives little to some people, we even don't have netflix etc here. It does not cost much, but still it gives surprising amounts of nothing, as most of the games are peer-to-peer-hosted. Oh, wait, if I'm not a gold subscriber, I have to wait 1-2 weeks to play a demo. That 1-2 weeks must really hurt me O_o
So why not a backup utility, lets say 0.5 gigs of space for saved games. Microsoft would host it, and so they could even scan their database for cheaters. I would gladly pay the 6.99 € monthly cost if that was the case. Backup would be voluntary and games otherways not able to be backed up, could use a Microsoft verified backup system.
Memory cards are so ... well, the worst problem is, one can't use those with all the games. Second, I never remember where it is. Sometimes I find it and back up everything. But would be a lot easier, if I just could "select this file MS Backup Party Gold System" (or whatever the name of the system could be). Or even better, do monthly scheduled backup or maybe daily, ...
So what ever happens, like a giant magneto-electric storm from space hits the whole region, ou, happy, I just remembered I had the save games in a Microsoft server. No problem. Those things happen once in a century, really, yes, but the harddrives die a bit more often.
Then there are those pesky game developers insisting, that their game is severely hurt, if someone could roll back. "It destroys the plot!!!". What? A plot in a video game? Games with a good amount of stories, even having a plot, give all possibilities to save, copy saves, backup, etc. Namely Oblivion and Fallout 3, have plenty of choices and it's possible to use multiple saves.
Then there's such games as Fable 2. No do. Can't copy. "Sorry, your save corrupted, start a new game?" Or... oh... I just found a game crashing glitch, - "How happy I am, I have this only one save game that just reproduces the glitch instantly".
This is about the same as having a block in a DVD/Blueray-player, "oh sorry, you can't choose a chapter, as it could destroy the plot". Or maybe an ordinary book having a lot of diary like locks arranged as a chain, so one could only open it in right sequence.
It's kind of a nannying attitude towards players, like there will always be players reading all the spoilers from the internet, there will always be people reading first the end of a book, etc, what ever a game developer does, there will always be people knowing the choices and the whole plot, even without playing the game, thanks to the internet. And one can even watch each separate ending from Youtube.
People just have different kind of play styles, like one is calculating every step to maximize the character, rolls back often, then other one just enjoys the plot and lets everything go like it goes, without reading any spoilers.
Then other games, like Forza 2 has the problem with potential cheaters, if the save file could be backed up: 1) give all the cars to a friend online 2) roll back 3) why not give those cars again?. (note to the admin: this is not real advice how to cheat, but explaining what could happen, if people could roll back, as they now can't)
The solution is easy, an online database of transactions, just like in real life. If someone is not connected to live, that would not hurt, because he could not sell or give cars away, when offline anyway. Of course it could be possible to roll back, and then get the cars back, but would not gain advantage as the player had to stay offline then all time, - one connection to Live and all the cars lost because of the database being verified. Selled cars, that are gained back with a roll back, would just be thrown away.
Even such minimalistic games like World of Warcraft uses online databases, not to mention Call of Duty-series, or then even Forza 2 itself, already uses databases to gather "hot lap times". Not to mention if I would go to buy beer and sausage IRL, I just could guess just many databases get the information... 10? 20?
We must demand some consistent protocols with saved games, corrupted save files are such a fiend. To the barricades! Need that virtual barricade thing to NXE.
Good sport reading this rant.