LAS VEGAS - The age of digital console downloads is finally here, which is bad news for users stuck with Sony's conservative 500GB default hard drive on the PlayStation 4. Nyko, a company that produces unconventional accessories for game consoles, took the wraps off its new PS4 Data Bank, which offers a way to use cheap 3.5-inch hard drives instead of the expensive 2.5-inch models that the PS4 currently accepts.
I got to check out Nyko's PS4 Data Bank accessory firsthand at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015. Generally speaking, CES favors PC gaming over its console counterpart, which makes the show a perfect place to debut something aimed toward a crowd that's comfortable working with computer components.
The Data Bank is a black extension that sits atop the left half of the PS4 and fits a standard 3.5-inch hard drive; any capacity will do. Users plug it into the PS4's existing power port, so the device does not necessitate an extra outlet. From there, the device simply works as advertised: Replace your PS4's hard drive with a 3.5-inch one, which will generally run you much less money than comparable 2.5-inch storage.
Until we get to actually play games with the Data Bank, it's hard to tell whether there will be any slowdown or other ill effects. However, these issues are probably more dependent on the hard drive than a simple Nyko adapter. A good hard drive should function just as well, if not better, than Sony's default one, while an unreliable hard drive will bring its own set of problems.
Nyko had a few other accessories on display, and it's worth at least mentioning the Type Pad and the Console Selector. The Type Pad is a soft QWERTY keyboard that hooks into the DualShock 4 controller without impeding the peripheral's handy headphone jack.
The Console Selector is even simpler: a three-way HDMI splitter that requires no external power (newer HDMI cables provide power on their own). This is useful if you're lucky enough to have all three current-gen consoles, or if you've hung onto an Xbox 360 or PS3.
All three devices will be available in the first half of 2015, although none of them has a solid price or specific release date yet.