Ah I see... Same case as in PS3?
The PS3 doesn't charge you for an account - You still need to sign up though, and is required to purchase DLC with.
If you want access to cloud saving, you will need to have a Plus subscription, then you can load to/from the cloud. As with the Xbox 360, you can copy your save and then reload it if things go south, although I've not tried it.
So they're more or less similar, these days, except the Xbox 360 charges for online multiplayer access, and the PS3 doesn't.