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PlayStation 5 owners will need PlayStation Plus to back up their save files

By Tim Augustin - on 16 Nov 2020, 10:57pm

PlayStation 5 owners will need PlayStation Plus to back up their save files

Image: Sony

If you’re eyeing a PlayStation 5 console, you might want to subscribe to PlayStation Plus. 

According to Tweaktown, PlayStation Plus is required for PS5 owners to back up their saved game files. Unlike the PlayStation 4, there is no option to export save files to an external storage device, such as a USB drive. 

This means that every PS5 owner could lose all of their game progress and data if something happens to their console, unless they purchase an active PlayStation Plus subscription. They also don’t have any offline options to restore save files now, which means that if your internet goes out - you really can’t do anything with those cloud saves. 

Strangely, Sony will still let you use an external storage device to import or export saved data for PS4 games on the PS5 with no problem. In the system settings, the saved data (PS4) screen notes that users can either copy PS4 files to the cloud or a USB drive, or delete the files entirely:

Image: Tweaktown

On the saved data (PS5) screen however, you only have two options: copy your PS5 files to the cloud, or just delete them:

Image: Tweaktown

That is a rather stark difference. It’s dumbfounding that users can still back up their PS4 games on the PS5 with a USB drive, but PS5 games don’t get the same treatment. This could just be Sony trying to add value to PlayStation Plus, but making users pay for something that was once free feels more anti-consumer than anything else. 

Console users also can’t transfer their PS5 games to external storage - a feature that was also available on the previous console generation. System architect Mark Cerny had previously warned us in advance of this however, saying that it would take some time for Sony to certify drives that are compatible with the console. This will only happen some time after launch.