News Article

Treasure Your 3DS Game Saves Forever With This Handy Accessory

Posted by Damien McFerran

Elves not included

Save data doesn't last forever — for example, every time you write to a 3DS cart, you're shortening the lifespan of the cart's save memory. Of course, it's possible to write to a 3DS cart thousands of times over, but for some, the worrying prospect of losing months of progress in Pokémon X & Y is the kind of thing that will keep you up at night.

Thankfully, Cyber Gadget's Save Bank is here to banish such nightmares to the land of wind and ghosts. It allows you to back up your 3DS save data to a computer (the packaging seems to suggest that tiny elves are involved in this process) where you can retain it until that fateful day when your 3DS game finally dies — and then restore the save to another copy. Let's conveniently forget that that event could be years (or even decades) away and instead bask in the glory of technological advancement.

Save Bank hits Japan on June 8th, and will retail for 3,300 Yen. There's no word on a western release as yet.

[via tinycartridge.com]

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User Comments (47)

Crimzonlogic

#2

Crimzonlogic said:

So...How long before I should expect my Pokemon X version to crap out on me? I completed the pokedex and bred a bunch of flawless pokemon on that. That would suck if it suddenly died. I've never thought about that happening. :(
This save bank thing looks promising, considering that. If they are making these, then that probably means that people's DS games have kicked the bucket already.

Uberchu

#3

Uberchu said:

@Crimzonlogic Don't know but why not just upgrade to DL version if you're really worried? or would the save eventually die there too?

my friend told me this might happen, I was like LOL Didn't listen...

StarDust4Ever

#4

StarDust4Ever said:

Unless the 3DS saves are encrypted, expect rampant hacking coming to a 3DS near you. Triple Stars in Mario Kart 7? Max stats in Pokemon? Not a problem, if you know how to use a hex editor... :p

PK_Wonder

#6

PK_Wonder said:

"every time you write to a 3DS cart, you're shortening the lifespan of the cart's save memory."

What. I've never heard of such a thing. If these are compatible or better quality that frequently used N64 cartridges, I think we'll be safe for a good 15 years more.

ToastyYogurt

#8

ToastyYogurt said:

Oh man, do I want this. My library has 3DS and DS games available for borrowing and if I had this I wouldn't have had to start Kid Icarus Uprising from scratch again after getting my own copy....

Artwark

#9

Artwark said:

I don't really revisit finished games that often unless its short and has lots of replay value in it. And I've never had that issue that I want to play it with the game saving properly except in the GBA case where it does happen frequently.

Artwark

#10

Artwark said:

But seriously though, Nintendo needs to be in good terms with Cyber Gadget because they are doing what people really want Nintendo to do besides making great games! Imagine if Nintendo bough Cyber Gadget. It would mean a lot to them.

Smooching

#11

Smooching said:

Nintendo desperately needs cloud storage of save games...

Meanwhile I'm wondering how this device even works... It's a shame it may lead to even more bogus Pokémon on the PSS.

Starwolf_UK

#12

Starwolf_UK said:

Now heres the thing. I thought for games like Pokemon the saves were encrypted specific to cartridges. That is to say if you back up your save and your cart breaks you might as well have not backed up.

But the handy thing with these backups is to clone Pokemon by combining with Pokemon bank (backup save, deposit Pokemon to bank, restore save).

As for cheating. The Powersaves by Datel has existed for months now (to stop clones it has DRM where you can only insert codes they make though their software, they also got issued C&D for some Pokemon codes covering unreleased events). If I was a serious Pokemon player I would consider using this with the Pokemon bank trick I mentioned above. If your cart does go kaput you can restore the Pokemon from bank and then get items back from the powersaves.

@Angelic_Lapras_King The Retrode has a Game boy adapter so that would work.

SeVok

#13

SeVok said:

I would love to see some real data as to the lifespan of the memory on a 3DS cartridge. I think it's greatly exaggerated, though backing up is always a good idea.

unrandomsam

#14

unrandomsam said:

I thought Pokemon / Animal Crossing used a different method of saving that wouldn't work with something like this.

I wish I had got the Datel Power Saves thing before playing A Link Between Worlds simply so I could have done the Hero quest to start with which I think would have been far enjoyable.

2Sang

#15

2Sang said:

This would be great. I'd personally prefer a nintendo save data cloud drive, but knowing nitnendo's lack of embrace of things internet-related, that's probably not going to happen for at least 5 years.

AlexSora89

#16

AlexSora89 said:

Thing is, Ninty should release this kind of accessories themselves. There's never any way to backup save data, or to safeguard them. There are such exceptions as the save data backup options with some 3DS downloadable titles, but then again, the games that need this option the most (such as the Pokémon games) are always left out. And to be honest, when other people handle it themselves, the big-name companies should have seen it coming.
I'm still waiting to be able to backup my Super Smash Bros. Brawl save file.

Zombie_Barioth

#19

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Starwolf_UK
The funny thing is certain GC and Wii games were, namely Animal Crossing and Pokemon Colosseum/XD. You can't copy or transfer them.

I actually did exactly what you mentioned myself, but to keep them for the older games. Only for gen IV though, I didn't think to back up the gen V ones.:(

As for the confusion about slowly killing the cartridges, its just due to flash memory having a finite number of 'writes'. I don't remember the actual number of writes (its a lot though) but your standard SSD is estimated to last for at least 10yrs of normal, daily usage for a PC, game carts only write for save files and should last much longer.

The only problem is for older cartridge-based games that use a battery for saves, and only because of the battery itself. Even many of those still work.

StarDust4Ever

#20

StarDust4Ever said:

@ImDiggerDan The saves are encrypted. OK. So attempting to change bits in the save data is futile without first breaking the encryption. But assuming each copy of Game A were manufactured with identical keys to each other (assuming the game carts are manufactured using mask roms, the factory data on each cart would be identical by design), the same encrypted save file could still be cloned from one cart to another, making power saves technically possible if the source file was a legit save.

That could actually pose a problem if a WiFi enabled game got it's save file duplicated. Maybe the servers could detect such nonsense and start banning profiles. For instance, multiple players logging on with the same profile...

Porky

#21

Porky said:

So Ds and 3ds cartridges have little save batteries too I did not know ugh! I totally need that for my Ds games soon!

ikki5

#24

ikki5 said:

seems like a waste of money. I've NEVER had anything like this happen and I have so many hours on Soul Silver. Besides, everyone knows a lot of the time spent on pokemon is collecting and training them. The time is more just something to show off. But e have the pokemon bank to save what is the most important for pokemon X and Y

McHaggis

#25

McHaggis said:

There's a few devices that do this already available to western markets. I have the R4i Save Dongle, although it doesn't work on Animal Crossing/Pokemon X and Y. It hasn't seen a firmware/software update in ages, either.

russellohh

#26

russellohh said:

You mean, you guy's companies don't have a single, slightly well hidden server with a backup of all your saves on it already? A server named after an old project that can't legally be deleted for another 30 years? A server that only you have accessed in the last two years? We...all do that, right?

DragonbornRito

#28

DragonbornRito said:

Only about $32 bucks at that price, definitely not bad. And if it isn't region locked, it would be well worth importing.

shinesprite

#29

shinesprite said:

... or, you know you could just buy the downloadable versions of your games and use Nintendo's save data migration app (cart to download). From there, you can just backup your SD card to your PC. ;)

OneBagTravel

#30

OneBagTravel said:

I hope Nintendo will one day patch in an ability to choose between saving to a cart or saving to the SD card.

hypercoyote

#31

hypercoyote said:

!!! I just sold off some of my 3DS games giving up hope that I'd ever be able to back up the saves.....oh well. Better late than never.

justinluey

#32

justinluey said:

@Smooching

You're right. Nintendo needs a cloud storage solution for saves, but in the meantime they should allow users to backup their saves on the SD card. That could easily be added in a firmware update.

Morpheel

#33

Morpheel said:

This would be nice if it included the ability to put digital save files in retail cards.

Hy8ogen

#35

Hy8ogen said:

Unless your 3DS cart has defects in it's flash memory, they should last up to 20+years. I doubt you'll still have your 3DS by then.

Obito_Tennyson

#36

Obito_Tennyson said:

I would get it. I have one question, though. Could someone upload a video to represent how to copy a save file that is saved on my 3DS? I don't want to copy anything unnecessary, just because it could corrupt something.

Also, could this be used to transfer or copy save data from the SD Card to a physical copy? I am planning to transfer the data soon since I am done using it excessively, (Animal Crossing, Pokemon Y) and I would like to keep them in a physical copy for the future.

SleepyCrossing

#37

SleepyCrossing said:

Seems slightly unnecessary, but the thought of losing Animal Crossing data would worry me. I have almost.. 300 hours now?

AVahne

#38

AVahne said:

Would it work for them old DS games, too?
Anyway, I'd buy it; freak accidents can happen at any time.

sdelfin

#39

sdelfin said:

@Porky they don't have batteries, but there is a limit, as I understand it, to how many times you could read from or write to the memory. Such a limit would be a rather high number and this would not be an issue to most people under normal circumstances as stated in the article. If someone does have save data they don't want to lose, there's no harm in backing it up with something like this. Nintendo was getting away from battery saves back in the GBA days. Most GBA games with saving ability did not use batteries, though some games did.

Windy

#41

Windy said:

Has anyone ever seen one of these gadgets released in North America? I know the PCEngine had one but it never got released to North America. They did release a TurboGrafx plus adapter which had save slots. Tennoke Bank never made it though. I can't remember any other system having one though.

JaxonH

#42

JaxonH said:

@PK_Wonder

Digital information will eventually corrupt over time. Digital information is stored as electrical charges, little capacitors and transistors that can be "switched on" with an electrical charge, indicating a 1, or can hold no charge, which would indicate a 0. Over time, these transistors and capacitors will slowly lose their charge. Digital information can also be stored magnetically (eg hard drive) or optically (CD/DVD). Optical is usually the best option for long term storage. But that's not to say that charged data can't last a very long time. Chances are your PC will fail long before your 3DS cart will lose its save data.

JaxonH

#43

JaxonH said:

I think this thing is awesome, and would definitely buy it if it came to NA.

AtelierFan

#44

AtelierFan said:

@PK_Wonder
I've been told that flash memory has a lifespan as well. And, like the editor said, re-writing over and over again is what eventually 'wears out' the functionality of said memory BUT it would take years if not decades for it to be an issue.
Now that I think about it, I was told that about PSX memory cards from day one.

BulbasaurusRex

#45

BulbasaurusRex said:

Um, other than the online-enabled games (which can't be backed up), can't you just backup your save data and stick your SD card in your computer to do the same thing?

Gamesquest1

#46

Gamesquest1 said:

Pretty sure the writer is a bit mis-informed, for this to work how he describes (taking a save from one Pokemon cart and putting it on another) they would have to have save decryption and re-encryption figured out, each carts save is uniquely encrypted and then signed, if they had that figured out they would just make a save editor to go with it like datel , maybe it's just purposefully confusing advertising but I think it would only allow transferring of older games saves between carts before Nintendo upped the save security

It should still work for copying the saves from the same cart back onto it

Shane904

#47

Shane904 said:

There's already the SaveDongle, which was made by some company. I got it for free for reviewing it - it works pretty well.

I believe Datel also has a 3DS save backup-er.

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