Instagram is largely a vehicle for FOMO dressed up as design inspiration. For my very humble, cobbled together gaming setup, that could not be more true.
For the new generation of consoles, particularly the PlayStation 5 and its slate of upcoming games revealed at the recent PlayStation Showcase, it’s the right time to upgrade your gaming setup. To do that, you’re going to need some gadgets.
Also, if you spent weeks doggedly following stock alerts, then you should make the most out of that achievement by celebrating with the accrual of some nice accessories. Here are some ideas to max out your PS5 gaming setup.
Light up the room
Philips Hue Play Tube
Philips has launched a range of new connected lights, one of which is geared towards gaming. The Gradient Play Tube, paired with the HDMI Sync box, will illuminate your room with colours that are synced with what’s happening on your TV. So if Miles Morales is landing a Venom strike, then your room will shine in an orange hue. The idea is that it makes your content more immersive and with the upcoming update to the HDMI Sync Box, which supports 120Hz gaming, this should be a necessity for your gaming experience. The Play Tube is sold out right now, but the lightship is a good alternative that offers similar functionality.
Organise your controllers
PlayStation 5 DualSense charging station
The dual sense charging station is a fairly simple, unglamorous accessory that keeps your controllers docked and charged—but that’s also what makes it good. It’s a cheap alternative to cables and half-charged controllers. It also fits the aesthetic of the PS5 and provides a satisfying click when they’re holstered.
The right auditory experience
There are quite a few audio solutions for your PS5, from expensive to more reasonably priced—not to mention some good headphone options. A solid choice is the Sonos Beam, which is compact enough to fit smaller setups rather than the much larger Sonos Arc. It’s also a complete system with no separate woofer, so if you’re using a gaming monitor this won’t take up as much space as other sound bars. The benefit of buying a Sonos device is that it doubles as a wireless multi-room speaker if you have other Sonos devices, or even speakers from other companies that support AirPlay 2. With excellent sound, voice controls and a decent price, the Beam is a good option for your gaming setup, regardless of size.
A rapid external drive
WD Black P50 Game Drive
Western Digital’s rapid speed SSD is one of the better external hard drive options for your PS5. It has a write speed for up to 2000MB/s and comes in storage options from 500GB to 4TB. For those who have maxed out their PS5 memory with four games, this might be the way forward. The P50 also has a nice black metal design that should blend in with your PS5.
It’s worth noting that you can’t play PS5 games from any external drive, rather you’ll have to transfer them back onto your PS5 to play, which is much faster than downloading them again. While you can get bigger storage capacities for cheaper with traditional external hard drives, an external SSD hastens that process.
Headphones for 3D Audio
Official PlayStation Pulse 3D Wireless Headset
One thing to consider about headphones for your PS5 is 3D Audio support. All wired headphones support the immersive feature, but only one pair of wireless headphones does: Sony’s Pulse 3D headphones. There’s no protruding microphone boom here; instead the mics are built into the headset, which has lead to mixed reviews. But they do sound good for the price, feature a PS5-inspired design and solid passive noise cancelling. These aren’t super high-end headphones, so you won’t get as good an audio experience as a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4, but those are significantly more expensive. And, as I say, this is the only headset that supports 3D Audio wirelessly.
The cinema experience
BenQ TK700STi Projector
A projector isn’t the best way to enjoy next-gen gaming. They aren’t as bright as TVs and even expensive ones struggle in daylight. They don’t have a great track record with HDR and they’re typically far more expensive than very capable TVs. But if you’re setup in the right way and want to see your games on a giant screen, the experience can be much more immersive than a TV. They’re also more portable than TVs. A good option is BenQ’s TK700STi, which will give you 4K gaming at 60HZ, lower input lag than rivals and an excellent picture quality. It’s not cheap, but good projectors can easily be upwards of $3000.
The Perfect Gaming TV
LG C1 OLED
There’s a new class of gaming TVs coming out built for next-gen consoles and LG is making a serious play for the throne. The C1 comes with a long feature list, including; four HDMI 2.1 ports, an OLED display for excellent contrast and deep blacks, 4K/120Hz, sub-1ms input lag, support for Nvidia FreeSync and dedicated game optimiser quick controls for fiddling with the image. It has an excellent picture and a razor thin design, but it doesn’t come cheap. You’ll have to spend some cash if you want the absolute best gaming TV experience.
A Rapid Internal SSD
Western Digital SN850 NVMe
Filling the internal expansion slot of your PS5 is straightforward in terms of installation, but you’ll have to jump through a few hoops before you reach that point. Firstly, make sure you’re signed up to the software beta program, which will give you the ability to add an SSD. You’ll also need to get a compatible storage option, which means it will need a read speed of 5500MB/s or faster and have its own heat sink. A good problem-free option is Western Digital’s SN850 NVMe SSD, which tops out at 7000MB/s read speed and 5300MB/s write speed. For roughly $20 extra (depending on storage size) it comes with a heatsink and in three storage options.
Gaming in comfort
Logitech G x Herman Miller Embod
My Herman Miller office chair has supported my crumbling back for seven years. There’s a reason it is—ergonomically speaking—one of the best manufacturers in the business. It’s only fitting then that Logitech has teamed up with the company to make the Logitech G x Herman Miller Embody gaming chair. It’s designed for prolonged use, with cooling fabric, extra support for completely upright sitting, adjustable arm wrests and a 12 year warranty. It also doesn’t too obviously look like a gaming chair. For all of that you will have to pay a premium, but it will also last longer than its competitors.