By itself, the PS4 is a pretty solid platform for gaming, media, and most anything else; however, like any good piece of technology, it can be improved upon. With the right accessories or modifications, you can put in the missing pieces to do incredible things with your PS4 that would have been difficult or, in some cases, impossible without them. However, also like any good piece of technology, there is a big market for cheap gimmicks as well; for every brilliant gem, you’re going to have to root through a lot of otherwise worthless rocks to find it. Fortunately for us, the Internet has done a lot of the trial-and-error for us, separating rocks from gems and giving us some truly great options for giving your PS4 that little extra push to greatness.
One of the big things about an all-digital future for video games is disk space; since we’re not going to be relying on video game disks anymore, memory becomes more and more of a precious commodity, and while the standard 500 gig hard drive may seem infinite when your PS4 is new, you’ll find that it maxes out at around ten to twelve games (at 40 gigs apiece). Fortunately, Other World Computing offers a nice warranty-safe DIY kit to replace your standard hard drive with a Samsung/Seagate 2 Terabyte model, one four times as big as your standard PS4 HDD, as well as an 8 gig flash drive and screwdriver, so you can easily upgrade your hard disk, move all your data to the new drive, and be ready to go.
If you want to go a different route, you can try the Nyko Databank system. Essentially, it’s a converter that allows you to use a 3.5 inch HDD on your PS4 instead of a 2.5 inch model. Because the PS4 standard 2.5 inch drives can be more costly than their more common 3.5 inch counterparts, it’s much easier to find a driver that’s the size you want at the price you’re willing to pay. Better yet, if you have an old computer with a hard drive worth cannibalizing, you can put it to good use with the Nyko Databank.
Either way, you can easily get more out of your PS4 with more memory, especially if you’re the type to keep all their media in one place.
To get the most out of your game at any level, your controller needs to feel good in your hands, and because nobody’s hands are the same, having a way to modify your controller to feel better is both an important and personal choice. Now, this is a vast category, so it would be impossible to list all of the specifics here, but your major controller modifications are going to be grips, sticks, and other assorted peripherals (more on that in a moment). Grips are pretty straightforward; normally, it’s a sleeve of some kind of gripping material, either textured rubber, silicone, or the like, that slides onto your controller and makes gripping easier. This one’s pretty much entirely up to you; if it feels good in your hands, then it’ll work for you. Most aftermarket sticks are in the same vein of comfort and performance, but there’s a bit of a distinction between sticks and the unfortunately named stick extenders; regular aftermarket sticks sit on top of your controller’s analog sticks and give you a bit more grip, either due to shape or material. Stick extenders, in addition, give you a bit more leverage so you can control with more precision and less force. If you’re looking for sticks and stick extenders (seriously, that’s the name. I wouldn’t make this up.), KontrolFreek makes a solid line of choices and styles for every player.
As for your other peripherals, there’s one that really stands out; the Avenger Reflex controller addition. While it does make your controller look like something out of science-fiction, what it really does is give you a set of levers to press against for all of your buttons; this way, you can keep your hands in one place and still be able to fully control your game. While there is a bit of a learning curve, it really does cut your reaction times down significantly, which is great for anybody who wants to bump up their K/D ratio.
Again, like grips and sticks, this one is a matter of personal taste. If you find one that works for you, more power to you for using it.
This little gem from Gaems is actually a great continuation on the idea that a PS4 can become your entire entertainment system, because now your entire entertainment system fits in a suitcase. And when we say your entire entertainment system, we mean it; this suitcase comes with an integrated 19“ LCD monitor, speakers, and a power source. Just like a laptop, you can plug this setup in, open up the top, and play all your favorite PS4 content anywhere you want. If you’re in the market for something smaller, Gaems has a nice variety of portability options, all designed to let you take your PS4 anywhere you want to go.
Honorable Mentions: PS TV & Elgato Game Capture HD
Both of these pieces, while good, still aren’t quite where we want them to be to make good accessories. First off, we’ve got the PS TV, a little peripheral designed to play PS Vita games, run video apps, and give you the option to access your PS4 remotely and play games on a separate TV. In theory, it’s great. In practice? It’s missing a few pieces. The video streaming services don’t include any of the big names like Netflix and Hulu, only a handful of PS Vita games work well with the box, and unless you’re playing with a direct landline (in contrast to WiFi), you’re gonna notice a bit of a drop-off in game quality, if you can even play it at all. While it’s not quite there yet, it’s a good idea and there’s still a lot of promise; if Sony can get those few components fixed, maybe bump up the PS Vita library a bit, then the PS TV could really become a nice jewel in Sony’s crown.
The Elgato Game Capture setup is a complete product that does everything you’d want a video capture setup to do; you can record, save to popular sites, and on the PS4 alone, you can add in real-time recorded audio. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much limited to let’s-players and the occasional bragging rights claim. It’s not that it’s a bad product, far from it, it’s just really conditionally useful; if you know you need it, it’s a phenomenal setup. If you don’t have a use for it in mind, however, it’s going to be a tad tough to justify buying. A great accessory if you need it, a bit of a bust if you don’t.
Each one of these accessories can really help you get more enjoyment out of your PS4, from better gameplay to added functionality and everything in between. If you’ve got something we missed, please leave it in the comments.