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Accessories for Consoles

Enhance your gaming experience with console accessories

Certain gaming console accessories, such as controllers, are required in order for you to use the system, while others, such as memory cards, are entirely optional. The type and number of accessories you may need depends on which system you're playing. Generally speaking, additional controllers are the single most important and widely purchased optional console accessory on the market. Many others are available though, so familiarize yourself with your options to enhance your overall gaming experience.

Controllers for the "Big Three" Gaming Consoles

The three top-selling gaming consoles on the market are Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii U. Each system comes with a default number of controllers, typically two, so you'll need to purchase additional controllers if you want to set up your system to allow for more than two players. The Xbox 360 can support a maximum of four players, the PlayStation 3 allows for as many as seven, and the Wii U maxes out at four.

Nintendo's Wii system revolutionized home gaming by making physical player movements an integral element of the gameplay. Microsoft and Sony played catch-up, and now offer similar functionality which is compatible with their latest systems. Look for the Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360 and the PS Move add-on for the PlayStation 3.

Additional Gaming Console Accessories

Aside from additional controllers, all three of the top-selling gaming systems allow for several other accessories and add-ons. Here are some suggestions for making your gaming experience even better:

  • Memory units. Today's gaming consoles all offer a default amount of hard drive space that allows users to save games and continue them at a later time. However, avid gamers frequently find that their console hard drives fill up with games they haven't yet completed. Particularly in this era of incredibly complex virtual worlds, it can take weeks or even months to finish certain games. Thus, many users look to add memory units to their consoles to increase the amount of available storage space and save more games.
  • Audio/video cables. While digital signals have largely replaced the need for complex and intricate networks of audio and video cables linking the console and the television, it is still necessary to hardwire certain connections, and additional or replacement audio and video cables are available in case you need to purchase them.
  • Protective cases. Accidents happen, and consoles are sensitive pieces of computerized equipment that can be damaged or even destroyed by a fall or accident. Think of a protective case as an affordable type of insurance policy. For the small investment of a few extra dollars, you'll get a sturdy added level of protection that will shield your console from the effects of falls and accidents. You'll also help to keep the system free of dust and debris, which can extend the life of its internal components.
  • Software accessories. Additional software that allows players to expand the range of available games has become popular in recent years. Both Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 support a type of additional software frequently referred to as "homebrew," which allows users to create their own gaming content. Some systems also support emulation software, which also enormously expands your gaming opportunities. With an emulator, you can access hundreds of additional games, including "retro" games created for long-lost platforms and consoles, through your wireless Internet connection or via download.

Video games have come a long way in the past decade or so, and technology companies are constantly looking for new ways to enhance the experience. Take full advantage of the range of accessories that are available today, and look for the development of an even broader range of exciting accessories in the years ahead.

Accessories for Consoles