The next generation of games consoles are here and, as you can see from our Xbox Series X review and PS5 review, the future for gaming is a rather rosy one.
Both Sony and Microsoft have created consoles that take advantage of some of the most advanced imaging specs and computer graphics around, and while we may have to wait for more native games to launch to truly test the tech on show, the consoles are a towering achievement – the PS5 in more ways than one.
By now we are sure that you have made your choice between Sony’s space-age juggernaut and Microsoft’s big box of wonders but you have another choice to make – in fact, you have quite a few.
A new console launch also means the arrival of a whole slew of gaming accessories. From headsets to controllers, expandable storage to HD cameras. To make sure that you are fully prepared for the next-gen, you have got some planning to do.
We are here to help. Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to the right accessories for your next-gen console.
Before you click to buy, it’s worth noting that Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are just around the corner, so you may well get the chance to nab a bargain or two…
Get yourself a second controller
One of the biggest bugbears about any console launch is that you only ever get one game controller. Even with the popularity of streaming and the millions of players you can do battle with online, there’s a fair chance that you will be wanting to play against a mate, sibling or even parent at some point.
The new Sony PS5 controller is called DualSense and is one of the most advanced ever made, featuring haptic feedback, dynamic trigger effects and an in-built mic. With this power comes great RRP – the controller currently retailing for $69.99 / £59.99.
Microsoft has gone for an Xbox controller with textured grip and a hybrid D-pad. It’s wireless but comes with a big ol’ USB cable so you can play tethered. That will set you back $59.99 / £54.99.
You’ll need a decent headset
The good news is that many of your accessories from the Xbox One and PS4 will be compatible with the next gen, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to invest in new ones.
Sony has taken the plunge and begun offering its own headset. Called the Sony Pulse 3D, it comes with 3D audio that’s been fine-tuned for the PlayStation 5. There’s enhanced noise cancelling, clear audio and around 12 hours’ battery life. It has the same design flourishes as the PS5, too, and costs $100 / £90.
Microsoft isn’t offering its own Xbox Series X headset at launch, but as you can use gaming headsets that are compatible with the Xbox One then you have a whole host to pick from.
One that’s standout for us – and it matches the look of the Xbox Series X – is the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2. It’s more than the PS5’s official headset, at £129 / $150, but has better battery life (20 hours) and the Superhuman Hearing sound setting is perfect for those who are in their FPS games.
You can never have enough storage
Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X are packing some serious storage capabilities – 825GB and 1TB respectively – but those game downloads are going to be huge so that will soon get eaten up.
We have a great PS5 and Xbox Series X storage explainer on just what to expect but it is certainly worth investing in a portable SSD drive that can plug into your console and help quash those potential storage woes.
The Seagate Game Drive 4TB is always a popular choice – 4TB is plenty for most gamers and it comes in both PlayStation and Xbox colors. Not bad for £99.99 / $149.
Being overcharged is no bad thing
No, we don’t mean for the consoles silly but are referring to the amount of charging options you have for things like your next-gen controllers. We would recommend getting a double charger stand.
Again, Sony is offering an official version that can charge two controllers at once (which is a bit of a tease as it is only offering one controller in the box). The good news is that it’s nice and affordable at £24.99 / $29.99.
There isn’t an official one available for the Xbox Series X but there are plenty of options out there, including the Venom Twin Docking station that is cheaper than Sony’s official offering.
You shall Pass!
Another must is making sure that you have access to both Sony and Microsoft’s online games. The Microsoft Xbox Game Pass is integral to the Xbox Series X.
Game Pass is a subscription service that costs £7.99 / $9.99 per month for just the console games, or £10.99 / $14.99 per month for Game Pass Ultimate which adds in PC and Android compatibility.
PlayStation Plus on the PS5 has the added bonus of having a load of PS4 games on there for PlayStation 5 users to dip into. Monthly membership costs £6.99 / $9.99 but, for both, it’s worth looking for three-month and one-year deals.
There you have it – the above accessories will get you well on the way to next-gen gaming glory.
If you want to go even further, then Sony has also released a remote for the PS5 to take advantage of its 4K capabilities – it comes with dedicated buttons for Netflix, YouTube, Disney Plus and Spotify – and there’s a new HD camera for the console, too.