While this year's International Consumer Electronics Show has been home to some of the biggest technological advancements for the home and beyond, there have been a few gaming-related announcements to get excited about. While console-related news has been somewhat sparse, the folks at Nyko are giving console owners something to get excited about with the lineup of products they rolled out during CES. Shacknews got to take a look at a few of these items to see just how a console owner should expect their lives to be enhanced.
Data Bank (PlayStation 4)
Of all of the products Nyko revealed, this one will likely be the most impactful. Right now, PlayStation 4 owners face a brutal 500GB hard drive restriction and it's a limitation that's being threatened with each new game release. With install sizes only getting larger, 500GB simply doesn't mean what it used to. Worse yet, there's currently no option for external hard drives, making Sony's console the only one to not support such a solution.
Nyko is now stepping in with arguably the most novel solution to date. The Data Bank will see users swap out their PS4 hard drive, just as they would when swapping out the current hard drive for a larger-capacity laptop hard drive. However, the Data Bank will support 3.5" desktop hard drives. Desktop hard drives will allow information to write at a more standard 7200rpm, while also providing a more cost-effective solution for expansion, since they'll come at a lower price than hefty laptop drives. The design will also blend nicely with the PS4's design scheme, taking up minimal space.
Nyko's Data Bank may be the most ideal solution to the PS4's crippling hard drive space limitation, but it won't arrive until later this year.
Type Pad (PlayStation 4)
Remember the novel QWERTY key pad that used to be available for Xbox 360 controllers? It was a handy little tool that made entering passwords and promo codes a breeze. Unfortunately, those seem to have gone by the wayside for the new console generation, but Nyko is aiming to fix that. The Type Pad was also revealed, which looks to add a QWERTY keyboard to a standard DualShock 4 controller. The Type Pad also features a passthrough for headsets and a nub for easier menu navigation.
The Type Pad is also expected to be released later this year and is currently only set to come to PlayStation 4. Nyko is currently looking into options to bring the device to other consoles, as well.
Light Grip (Xbox One)
Those looking for a little more lighting on their controllers will look to the Light Grip for their Xbox One controllers. This thing contains roughly a dozen LED lights that go off while you're playing your game. The lights can go off in any number of selectable patterns and will be powered by the controller itself, requiring no external batteries. If that sounds unremarkable, the other draw of this device is its smooth rubber grip. With a shapely grip, the Light Grip feels comfortable on your hands and is ideal for extended play sessions.
The Light Grip is estimated to arrive before March and is expected to cost roughly $15.
The Console Selector is a nifty device that may very well see its use extend beyond the console. On the surface, it looks to be a standard HDMI switch for up to three devices, with the IR remote control looking to be its most distinct feature. However, Nyko is promising that connected devices will not lose visual quality when hooked up to the Console Selector. In fact, the Console Selector is said to support any device at up to 4K resolution, making it ideal for gaming PCs, Blu-Ray players, and other advanced tech devices.
This is a bold claim and one that Nyko wasn't able to demonstrate on the show floor, but if it can live up to this promise, it would make the Console Selector a rare case of an HDMI switch that's actually reliable. Various members of the Shacknews community have had some trouble finding an HDMI switch that functions as intended, so this could be something worth looking into. Unfortunately, the Console Selector won't be ready for at least a couple of more months.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, PS4 Data Bank leads Nyko's CES 2015 lineup
I don't want to suggest that this article was paid for by Nyko, but the section about the hard drive expansion seems to make some disingenuous statements about a problem I don't feel PS4 users actually have.
"PS4 owners face a brutal 500gb restriction"; Uh, no. Sony makes it simple to replace the stock drive, and provides clear instructions not only on the hardware swap, but also how to easily prepare backups of currently stored data and having the firmware install ready on a USB drive. I did this Day 1 with a PS4 back when I got it on the Black Friday following its release.
"Worse yet, there's currently no option for external hard drives, making Sony's console the only one to not support such a solution." ; Someone with more tech knowledge please correct me if I am wrong, but SATA transfer speeds are superior to USB, thus helping the aforementioned statement all the more valid.
"Desktop hard drives will allow information to write at a more standard 7200rpm, while also providing a more cost-effective solution for expansion, since they'll come at a lower price than hefty laptop drives." Rotational speed of the platters is not the only relevant aspect of a better drive, but I won't delve too deeply into that. This statement also fails to mention that you can get 2.5" drives that also reach 7200rpm, without demanding an unreasonable expense. This further fails to mention the option of adding either an SSHD or SSD into the PS4, both of which will fit into a PS4. The efficacy of both has been researched and documented in numerous online articles.
I got a 1TB 7200rpm SSHD to pair with my PS4 Day 1, and not only was the installation a breeze, but it was a sub-$100 expense on sale. The 1TB standard counterpart could easily be found for even cheaper.
There's no denying that this addition will make higher storage options accessible to those that desire / need it, but the language in this article takes a pretty significant jab at an otherwise insignificant issue. Actually, an issue that I do not feel exists for most consumers. I have lots of games downloaded / installed and I have yet to make a hefty dent in the 1TB I have. I'm definitely comfortable for a while, and there aren't enough games available to make 2TB+ options immediately necessary except for those who carry massive libraries already.
I thinking your looking into this too much.