A flash drive cannot back up protected saves, which is what many people like using cloud storage for. that's probly why it wasn't brought up.
This was originally a reply to this topic, but it's strayed too far from the original topic, and I don't want to hijack.
I didn't even know games saves being locked was a thing. After a bit of research, I see forums littered with threads complaining about this for the past few years. I haven't had to back up my saves, but I'd like the option to if my PS3 starts showing signs of technical problems and I don't have a spare USB drive as large as the data on my PS3 hard drive (which, I'm sure, most people do not). Is this an issue with the Xbox 360 as well?
So, unless I have a paid subscription to PS Plus, I have to backup everything from my PS3 hard drive, currently 139 GB worth of data, in order to backup my locked game save files which are less than 5 MB combined, and yet, if my PS3 completely crashes, then I lose my backed up locked saves anyway, because they won't restore to a new PS3. Makes sense.
Sony gives us a very inconvenient way to back up locked save files, but refuses to give us the easy way? Someone explain that logic to me.
I can't think of any good reason for this feature. It doesn't hurt me if someone wants to cheat in their games. And if someone's going to modify their game save to get an advantage for an online game, this isn't going to stop them. They'll simply connect their PS3 hard drive into their PC and mod the save that way.
This is opening up some potential issues for me:
Can non-locked PS3 saves that have been copied to a flash drive, be copied to a different PS3, without using the Data Transfer Utility?
If locked save files are only accessible on a single PS3 (until transferred), then are locked game saves in the Cloud useless if you get a new PS3?
When backing up locked game saves, you are only backing them up in case your hard drive fails. You have no protection if your PS3 fails, because if your PS3 fails, even though your locked game save data is 100% intact on your perfectly operating hard drive, it won't work on another PS3 without transferring it to that PS3 using the Data Transfer Utility on its originating PS3, and you likely won't have a reason to transfer it to another PS3 unless your current PS3 fails, in which case you can't transfer it to another PS3, because your current PS3 has failed.
You can transfer save files from a Flash Drive onto a new PS3 as long as you add the same account to the new PS3. (save files are linked to your account not PS3.)
and for locked saves and cloud storage, it works fine when transfering to another PS3, just as long as you use your same PSN account of course. Protected saves can only be transfered once every 24 hours per save file.
That`s the main benefit of cloud storage, you back up the protected saves, just in case your PS3 fails, then you can transfer them back when you get a new or different PS3.