The Playstation 4 (or PS4) is a gaming console created by Sony Computer Entertainment.
It is one of the main gaming consoles used today to play a plethora of games.
Earlier versions of the Playstation console were limited to only the standard controllers.
However, with its evolution over the years and the advancement in technology, there are many more devices that you can connect to your playstation to enhance your gaming experience.
Devices like a wireless headset so you can communicate with your friends when playing online multiplayer games.
However, the PS4 is only limited to 2 USB ports.
A USB Hub is a device that enables you to extend the number of ports of an electronic device.
So, do USB hubs work on a PS4?
Yes, USB hubs do work with a PS4. The USB hub can be connected to a PS4 to extend the number of USB ports to more than 2. It will allow you to connect multiple PS4 accessories. However, there are some things to consider which will be discussed in this article.
What is the main purpose of a USB hub?
USB ports enable us to connect peripheral devices to an electronic or computing system, and almost all devices utilise a USB type of connection.
Peripheral devices like an external hard drive, mouse, keyboard, webcam and many more.
But, electronic devices come with a fixed number of USB ports which limits how many peripheral devices you can connect to them.
A USB hub is an electronic device whose main purpose is to add more input USB ports to a device limited to a certain set of ports.
For example, if a device only had one USB port, you could add a USB hub and add up to 4 additional ports.
Why you might need a USB hub with a PS4
As you can see, a USB hub is a very handy device.
But, why might you need one for your PS4?
Well, this all comes down to the number of USB ports the PS4 has. We know that the main purpose of a USB hub is to increase the number of USB ports of a device.
The PS4 only has 2 USB ports (located on the front).
This means that you are only capable of connecting up to 2 compatible USB devices to the PS4 at any given time.
But, as we will see later in the article, the PS4 has more than 2 accessories that can be plugged into its USB ports.
So, having a USB hub will prove very useful when you need to connect more than 2 inputs.
Why USB hubs work on PS4
So, why does a USB hub work with a PS4?
The main reason is that both devices utilise the same protocols for connection,communication and power supply between a computing system and peripherals.
This protocol is the Universal Standard Bus or most often referred to as USB.
The PS4 is a type of computing system. It uses USB as a method of communication with external peripherals such as an external hard drive, or headset.
A USB hub merely allows the PS4 to add more ports.
But, they are both compatible with each other as they essentially talk the same language.
So you can connect a USB hub to a PS4.
Considerations when connecting a USB hub to a PS4?
Before you go plugging in any USB hub to your PS4, there are some considerations to take into account.
The first consideration is Transfer speed.
Like with many things in life, the USB cable has evolved over the years.
One of the major characteristics of the USB cable that has evolved is its transfer speed (of data).
The earlier USB 1.0 cables had transfer speeds of 1.5 Mbps (Megabits per second). This cable is the lowest of the transfer speeds available for a USB cable.
Below are the other cable transfer speeds (with the last one being the latest);
- USB 1.1 / Full-speed (12 Mbps)
- USB 2.0 / Hi-Speed (480 Mbps)
- USB 3.0 / Super-speed (5 Gbps)
- USB 3.1 / Super-speed (10 Gbps)
The PS4 has USB 3.0/3.1 input ports.
What this means is that you will need to connect a USB hub that is the same transfer speed of 3.0 or 3.1.
If you connect a USB hub of a slower transfer speed to your PS4, you limit the transfer speed to the lowest version.
So, for example, if you connect a USB 1.1 hub to your PS4, the transfer speed is limited to 1.5 Mbps even though the PS4 is capable of transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps.
Doing this will drastically affect the performance of the accessories with your PS4.
Another consideration is how many USB hubs and accessories you connect to your PS4.
You aren’t limited to just connecting one USB to your PS4.
You can daisy chain the USB hubs (which is a method of connecting several devices together in a linear series. In this case one USB hub to another).
However, this can cause issues.
The problem that arises when you daisy chain unpowered USB hubs is that the PS4 itself has to power all the devices connected to it which can affect its overall performance.
Not only will it drain power, but lower the speed of each device.
So, limit the number of USB hubs and accessories you connect to the PS4 at any given time.
What PS4 accessories can you connect to a USB hub?
The Playstation has come a long way since its humble beginnings.
Back in the day you were just limited to the standard playstation controllers when playing games.
But, over the years there have been many additions of inputs that can be connected to the playstation’s USB port each having their own abilities.
Below is a list of the most common PS4 accessories;
Dualshock controller charging station – Controllers have gone wireless with the emergence of bluetooth technology. They use rechargeable batteries that need to be re-charged once they have lost power. The charging station can be used to recharge your wireless controllers.
PS4 Bluetooth remote – The remote helps you navigate the PS4’s home screen and all its menus.
Headset – Now you can have a conversation with your bestie while playing online with them.
External harddrive – For when you run out of space on the PS4.
Virtual Reality headset – Now you can immerse yourself in a game with virtual reality.
Do USB hubs cause input lag with the PS4?
Yes, the USB hub will cause input lag with your PS4 and the devices that are connected to it. It is going to add latency which will decrease the performance (mainly being the speed but only very slightly). But, this add in latency will only be apparent with peripherals such as a mouse or keyboard. It shouldn’t affect a remote controller or harddrive.
Also, to avoid slower speeds, use peripherals that are the same USB version as the PS4 (3.0, 3.1) and avoid daisy changing multiple USB hubs and overloading them with multiple PS4 accessories.
What size USB hub is best suited for PS4?
USB hubs don’t just come in one standard size limited to a certain number of ports.
There are plenty of options out there that include 2, 4 to 7 USB ports.
So, what size USB hub do you need?
Well, this all depends on the number of PS4 accessories you own, and how many you will be using at once.
A 4 port might be sufficient, but again, it all comes down to how many input ports you will require.
Do you need a powered USB hub for a PS4?
Another distinguishing factor of a USB hub is whether it is powered or not.
A USB hub that is not powered will have its power provided to the devices connected to it via the host (in this instance the PS4).
This can be disadvantageous as the PS4 will have to provide power to all accessories connected to the USB hub.
A powered USB hub on the other hand, has the ability to provide power to the PS4 accessories connected to it thereby taking the load off from the PS4.
Another advantage is that devices that need to be charged can do so using the powered USB hub.
So, while not necessary, it is advantageous having a powered USB hub.
Are USB hubs good for a PS4 and gaming?
Yes, USB hubs are good for a PS4 and gaming in general. As we saw earlier, a PS4 is limited to how many USB input ports it has. So a USB hub allows you to extend the number of USB ports of your PS4 (or whatever gaming console you are using) which means you can add multiple inputs and enhance your gaming experience.