There are a number of accessories out there for PlayStation 4 video games that can definitely enhance your gameplay experiences. I have two accessories for my PS4 that work well for my games and how I play them. Fortunately, I have reviewed two of those accessories and I figure it’s a good idea to repost those so you can see how I rate them. The two accessories that I have are the Play Station Camera and The Afterglow Wireless Headset with microphone both of which are excellent products especially if you want to stream a live broadcast of your gameplay and people can see your reactions via the PlayStation camera. Without further ado, here are both of my reviews:
PlayStation 4 Camera Review
It is quite easy to mount it on your television as it comes with a stand that you hook it on to and put it on top of your television. The back of it has a foldable ridge or hinge that you’ll want to angle down so that it provides support and keeps the camera on top of your tv or monitor.
As you can see from the photo above, there are 2 lenses on it and the other 4 blocks with holes on them are actually microphones so that way you can actually enter voice commands if you wanted to on the PS4 or for games that support it. What is nice about that as well is when you play online, you can use the camera’s microphones to chat instead of the small one included with the game system or buying a separate headset for it.
A nice feature of the PlayStation Camera is that it has facial recognition technology which will enable you to log into the PS4. All you have to do is move your face into the zone that the camera needs to recognize your face, and once it accepts or recognizes you, you’re in! It makes logging into the PS4 a breeze.
My primary use of the PlayStation Camera is for live streaming activities which is what I’m starting to get into now via twitch tv and Live from PlayStation. The people watching your live stream will get to see a window of you while you are playing a game live. It can be quite funny to see the reactions of the person playing a game live when a crazy or challenging moment comes up in a game. To me, it adds a personal touch so that way your viewers feel that a real person is going through the same challenges or fun times in a game that they have.
Now you might be wondering if there are any other uses for the PlayStation Camera besides just using it for live broadcasts. Sadly there just isn’t a whole lot more you can do with the PlayStation Camera. There just really aren’t any games that utilize the camera and I can understand why. Since the PlayStation Camera is a stand alone accessory, there’s no guarantee that every PS4 owner will have one so that makes the user base very small. I know Sony thought about including the camera with the PS4 much like Microsoft did initially with the Xbox One and the Kinect. The price would’ve been higher for the PS4 system if Sony went that route and so they decided not to which honestly I am happy with. Why include a product that may not get a lot of use?
On the other hand if it was included, it may have given more game developers an incentive to come up with games that could’ve taken advantage of the camera. I honestly think it has a lot of potential if more developers were on board with making games that take full advantage of the camera.
There is something though called The Playroom which is included with the PS4 and takes full use of the camera as well as the DualShock 4 controller. There is a mini game on there called Asobi which is kind of like a pet robot. It is summoned by rubbing the touchpad and then players can interact with Asobi in different ways. The pet like robot also has the ability to recognize other people through the facial recognition of the PlayStation Camera. Think of this as a step up from EyePet. There are other mini games on there as well that take use of the DualShock 4 and some other uses of the camera, but it is not extensive at this time.
I will only recommend the PlayStation Camera if you are planning to do live broadcasts of your gameplay and you want people to see who you are while playing which is what I primarily bought it for. It does make logging into the PS4 easy and The PlayRoom mini games for it can be fun for a little while, but other then that, there’s not much else. As I mentioned before, there aren’t really any games that take advantage of the PlayStation Camera and there really is not much indication that this will change in the future.
I ended up buying this at GameStop for $59.99 which is the same cost of a brand new game. It really is up to you to decide if it worth it or not. I give it a 3 out of 5 stars and would be glad to rate it higher if only there were good games to utilize the PlayStation Camera.
If you want to see me with the PlayStation Camera in use, then sign up to my newsletter and get exclusive access to my broadcast channel. I’ll be playing open world such as The Crew, Grand Theft Auto V, and Need For Speed Rivals. I will also show case new games as the come out such as the highly anticipated Batman Arkham Knight that is slated to come out on June 24th. Always check back here for updates and reviews!
Afterglow Wireless Headset Review
The first thing you notice when opening the box and pulling out the headset is the size and weight. The weight makes it very snug and unlikely to slip off your head while playing and they fit over your ears quite nicely and the padding for the ears are soft and comfortable (at least for me they are). The headset can definitely be extended if you need more length, but will still fit quite comfortably.
It comes with a USB transmitter that you plug into a USB port on the PS4 so that way the headset will be connected to the PS4 system wirelessly. The system recognizes the transmitter almost immediately and all you have to do is go to the system settings and change the audio and microphone output to the wireless headphones. You can set the volume of the headset through the PS4 in system settings or you can do it on the headset via a scrolling button on the left part of the headset where the power/mute button as well as the mode button for the microphone are located. I usually just do a mic test through the system settings just to make sure it sounds good and is not too loud.
As I’ve mentioned before in my first impressions, the sound is quite spectacular as it gives that strong surround sound feel to it. I’ve played The Crew, Grand Theft Auto V, and Outlast with these headphones and it sounds like you’re actually in the game. You can hear the subtle background noises that sound like they are coming from behind you. I especially noticed this in the horror game Outlast as it just added to the overall tension of the game and made the jump moments that much more intense and frightening! The game radios in both GTA 5 and The Crew sound extremely well like you are playing the radio in your car.
There’s another feature the Kral wireless headset has and that is Bass Boost. I have tried it out a couple of times and it does add some stronger bass to it, however, at its highest setting it does sound a little bit distorted so I rarely use it. The regular bass setting is good enough and I believe you really don’t need to use the bass boost all that much. Trust me, the original sound settings when you turn on the headset for the first time are good enough and do a good job of drowning out other sound which is what I like about the Afterglow headset.
I do like the microphone as well as you can extend it out from the headset and push it back in when you are finished. The microphone does light up in either blue or red depending on which mode you put it in as one mode cancels out other sound except your voice and the other includes other sound it can detect in your immediate vicinity. I generally prefer the noise cancelling mode especially since there is a very busy set or train tracks behind my house and it will cancel the noise of the numerous trains going by. I definitely enjoy using the microphone included on this headset versus the one included with the PS4 when you buy it.
A very cool thing about the Afterglow Kral headset is that it can be used on a few other things other than the PS4. You can use it for your PC and also for your smartphone. It comes with a 3.5mm gray cable that you plug one end into the headset and the other end into the mobile device. Unfortunately it is not wireless when using your smartphone as there are no USB ports to put the transmitter into. That is perfectly fine with me as I like plugging in headphones into my smartphone anyway and just listening to music. Your PC on the other hand should have USB ports so there should be no problem for you using the headset wirelessly with your PC. You can plug in the grey cable though into the headphone port it you prefer.
Now lets talk about the battery life. The Afterglow headset comes with a USB cable to plug into the computer or PS4 so the battery in the headset can be recharged. The nice thing about the PS4 is that with the latest updates, the system doesn’t have to be fully on for the headset to be charged. It now has a rest mode and suspend mode so that way there will be just enough power on the system to charge controllers and whatever other accessories you may have that need to be recharged. The battery life is pretty good as it is slated to last at least 11 hours. I haven’t reached the full 11 hours yet, but I’ve played at least 9 hours without recharging it.
Something else to mention is that when you power on the headset, it has led lights that light up on both sides of the headset. The good news though is that since they cover your ears, you don’t see the lights, but sometimes your peripheral vision will catch the light from the microphone. It sometimes can be a minor annoyance, but it easily fixed since you can adjust the microphone.
I definitely recommend getting this wireless headset for the PS4. The sound is great (minus the Boost Bass at times), they are padded just right and hug the ears perfectly and the headset is easily adjustable. Excellent battery life, plus you are able to use it with your smartphone via the gray cable and also use it wirelessly with your PC. The price for it goes anywhere from $69 to $99 depending on where you buy it from. I decided to buy it from Best Buy’s website and have it shipped to my house as my local Wal Mart were out of them. Also to let you know, it is on sale on Best Buy’s site at $79.99 and you will get free shipping with it. This headset gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me with really the only negative I have with it is the Bass Boost as I mentioned earlier it can get distorted at times. Nevertheless, this headset is worth it!