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PlayStation Network undergoing significant maintenance

The PS3's online service is currently in the middle of an 11-hour downtime for scheduled maintenance, one of the longest planned outages in the history of the service. And while there's no official word what's being done behind the scenes, it does look to be linked to a major feature coming to the PlayStation Network tomorrow.

Unless you happened to log into the PSN before 11 AM Eastern Time, you won'thave access to the online network againuntil after 10:00 tonight. That means no online gaming, no PlayStation Store access and no chatting with PSN friends.

In related news, shortly before the outage began, Sony posted details of a new firmware update slated for the PS3 tomorrow, which is surely related to today's maintenance.

PS3 firmware version 3.60 will bring yet another new feature to PlayStation Plus subscribers - cloud-based game saves.In addition to saving datalocally to your PS3 hard drive, you'll also be able to place saves online as a backup.

It also means you'll be able to go to your friend's house and load up your saves there without hauling a memory card or hard drive over there as well.

The process involves saving the game to your PS3 hard drive first, as always, and then going to that save file on the XMB, where you'll be able to create an online back-up of the data.

Users are limited to 150 MB of save data, or 1000 files, whichever comes first. For now, this only applies to game saves; nothing else can be copied to the PS3 cloud. Sony says "most" existing PS3 titles will support the new feature, and moving forward every new game will be compatible.

This feature will automatically be applied to PlayStation Plus users once the new firmware is installed tomorrow.

[Source:PlayStation Blog]

Mar 9, 2011