PS4 supports 3.5-inch hard drives via Nyko’s new Data Bank

Held each January, the Consumer Electronics Show is an exposition event where electronics companies from around the globe camp to show off their plans for the new year. It is not usually open to the public.

Sony was among the roster at CES 2015 to show off a new 4K TV that’s slimmer than its own Xperia smartphones (as well as normally thin objects such as pencils), a slick and clearly expensive light speaker, and to announce that about 4 million PS4s were sold over the holidays.

Among the electronics giants was Nyko, a company well-known for its gaming peripherals and accessories. Nyko announced two important new peripherals for the PS4: The Data Bank and the Type Pad.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the only generation-eight console that allows a user to exchange its hard drive, at least without voiding the manufacturer warranty. It is only compatible with 2.5-inch drives. These drives are usually found in notebook and some all-in-one computers because of their smaller size, but are more expensive and limited in hard drive capacity than 3.5-inch drives found in most desktop computers. Nyko’s Data Bank allows users to install one of these cheaper, higher-capacity 3.5-inch drives into their PlayStation 4 consoles.

There is a tradeoff, however. The Data Bank adds a black block to the top of the PS4’s slim, streamlined design. Even so, the design of the Data Bank is pleasing and in line with that of the PS4, and its most likely inconvenience will be for those used to standing the PS4 upright. The data access LED on the front may also prove useful.

Nyko has been telling the press that it wants to keep the Data Bank within the $30-$40 price range, which is a decent price for a device of this type, but the Data Bank does not come with a hard drive. Customers must buy a 3.5-inch hard drive to go with the Data Bank. Depending on brands and available deals, the difference between a 2.5-inch drive and a comparable 3.5-inch drive can be less than $40, and thus Nyko will have to be careful with its pricing. It makes much more sense to buy the 2.5-inch drive the PS4 is compatible with than to spend more than the 2.5-inch drive for a 3.5-inch plus the Nyko Data Bank.

Nyko also announced the Type Pad, a Bluetooth keyboard for PS4 that plugs directly into the DualShock 4 controller’s headphone jack. It features a small analog stick for menu navigation, and charges via USB. This is not the first PS4 keyboard to be released, but it is definitely the first to feature an analog stick, and Nyko’s reputation and publicity could launch the Type Pad beyond competing keyboards.

Nyko has not announced a release date or official price for either the Data Bank or the Type Pad, but it hopes to have both available within the first half of 2015.