What Are the PS4 USB Ports and How to Use Them?
A USB port on PS4 is a small port that allows a variety of USB compatible devices to connect to it and transfer digital data over USB cables. It can also supply electric power across the cable to devices that need it. Some examples of devices that connect to the PS4 USB ports include controller, external storage devices, speakers & headphones, PS4 VR and more.
Any PS4 user knows very well about the significance of having USB ports in their game console. In fact, the majority of users also feel that the two USB ports PS4 offers aren’t enough. They suggest having at least 4 or even 5 ports for their convenience. In this route, some may go for a USB hub to get additional USB ports, but this is not a complete solution free of flaws. The primary disadvantage here is that not all USB devices work via USB hub. Some will work without an issue and some wont work at all.
PS4 USB connection is an essential topic to talk about here because it features a major factor in understanding how external storage devices work on PS4. And since PS4 Storage Expert website is mainly and solely concerned about PS4 storage, such a topic have to be sufficiently handled.
PS4 USB Ports Number & Location
The number of USB ports in PlayStation 4 is two. PS4 still maintains these two USB ports as it has been doing in other previous versions of the PS consoles. The two USB ports are located right at the front of the console which isn’t a surprise because we saw that in the PS2 and PS3.
Sony made a change in the Pro version of the PS4 to add an additional USB port at the back of the console together with the AUX, HDMI and LAN ports.
PS4 USB Port Basic Features
- USB 3.0/3.1 Generation 1. The PS4 is packed with USB 3.0, and the Pro version has USB 3.1 ports, both Gen 1. The PS4 USB 3.0 has a SuperSpeed transfer rate of 5 Gbit/s which can transfer about 625mb/s. This makes data transfer from an external device to the console super-fast. It’s ten times faster than the previous USB versions. Although it may not be as fast as the USB 3.1 Gen 2 or the USB 3.2 which transfers data with SuperSpeed+ at the rate of 10 Gbit/s, the performance of USB 3.0/3.1 connection fits its purpose in the PS4/PS4 Pro. Additionally, we can always expect an updated version of the USB in the next release of the PlayStation.
- Bi-Directional. Also, the PS4 USB 3.0/3.1 is ‘bi-directional’ which means the USB ports on the PS4 gives the user the opportunity to read and write data at the same time. You can download files from the console and at the same time, upload data to it without waiting for one function to end. So, you can download music, pictures and also upload movies to the console all at once.
- Power-Saving. The USB Port 3.0/3.1 also put unused devices attached to the PS4 console to sleep mode to save energy.
There are several USB devices that PS4 supports to work with.
Using PS4 USB Ports
Connect PS4 and a USB device directly with one USB cable by plugging each end into a USB port.
You may plug cables into a USB port at any time regardless of whether the devices involved are powered on or off. Follow the instructions provided with your equipment before unplugging USB cables. In some cases, unplugging a USB cable from a running PS4 can cause damage to the device or the files being used on the PS4. For this reason, it is good practice to always safely eject your USB device before physically unplugging it.
Multiple USB devices can also be connected to each other using a USB hub. A USB hub plugs into one USB port and contains additional ports for other devices to connect subsequently. If using a USB hub with PS4, plug a separate cable into each device and connect them to the hub individually.
Note that external hard drives won’t work as an extended storage if connected via a USB hub. You have to connect them directly to the PS4 USB port without any third-party medium.
PS4 USB Port Transfer Speed
Since PS4 uses USB 3.0 connection and PS4 Pro uses USB 3.1, it’s worth to illustrate the speed of both connections for general knowledge.
- USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, first appeared in November 2009 by Buffalo Technology. The first certified devices weren’t available until in January 2010. USB 3.0 improved upon the USB 2.0 technology with speed and performance increases, improved power management and increased bandwidth capability. It provides two unidirectional data paths for receiving and sending data at the same time. PS4 USB 3.0 supports transfer rates up to 5.0 gigabits per second (Gbps), or 640 megabytes per second (MBps). Following the release of USB 3.1, it’s officially renamed to “USB 3.1 Gen1” for marketing purposes.
- USB 3.1, also known as SuperSpeed+, was made available as of July 31, 2013, and is the latest version of the USB protocol. PS4 USB 3.1 is capable of transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps, putting it in line with the first generation of Apple’s Thunderbolt channel. Today, many devices use the USB 3.0 and 3.1 revisions for improved performance and speed, including PS4 consoles.
Note that You can use a USB 2.0 device in the PS4 USB 3.0 port. Also, you can use USB 3.0 device in the PS4 Pro USB 3.1 port. The problem here though is that neither setup provides the extra speed benefit.
USB-A, USB-B, and USB-C Port Types
Several major types of physical layouts exist for USB ports:
- USB-A (Type A): The rectangular USB Type A connector approximately 1.4 cm (9/16 in) length by 0.65 cm (1/4 in) height. USB sticks normally feature USB-A connectors.
- USB-B (Type B): An almost square connector, mostly used for printers and other powered devices that connect to a computer. They’re not very common these days, as most devices have moved onto a smaller connection.
- Mini-USB: A smaller connector type that was standard for mobile devices before micro-USB. While not as common today, you’ll still see these on some cameras, the PlayStation 3 controller, MP3 players, and similar.
- Micro USB: So-called Micro USB versions of both USB-A and USB-B also exist – smaller versions than their base counterparts, popular on mobile devices. Older but now obsolete “mini USB” versions can also be found on many old devices.
- USB Type C: With dimensions of 0.84 cm by 0.26cm, this newer standard is designed to replace both A and B with smaller ports to better support the thinner form factors of mobile devices. This is a reversible cable that promises higher transfer rates and more power than previous USB types. It’s also capable of juggling multiple functions.
In most cases, you’ll find USB cables have one standard type-A end and one type-B end of some sort. The type-A end powers the device, while the type-B end receives power. This is to prevent potential damage that would be caused by connecting two PS4’s via USB-A.
To connect a device to PS4 having one kind of port per device with another type, simply use the correct type of cable with appropriate interfaces on each end. USB cables are manufactured to support all supported combinations of types and male/female options.
PS4 USB ports are a strong addition to this mighty game console. Now, after PS4 Pro is released with USB 3.1 connection, the use of high-speed external storage devices such as external SSDs has become more flexible.
The power of the USB ports in the PlayStation 4 gives the console the opportunity to serve you better as you can connect more devices to enhance your gaming experience. but Sony should build more ports to bring it to a total of four to ensure you are well connected and enabling us to do more at a time.