Traveling often can cut seriously into your gaming time, and then you find yourself in hotel rooms with absolutely fantastic TV sets, and no console to hook up to them.
I’m writing this from a hotel in Tokyo, and my PS4 is right by my side, ready to play some games. Bringing it “back home” wasn’t nearly as painful as I imagined, and made me realize just how portable Sony’s console is.
This is actually the first time I carry a home console with me on a long trip since the times of the Dreamcast, which was very small and fit basically in every bag, so I was a bit apprehensive. What if the console gets damaged? What if it causes problems at the airport?
Despite those thoughts, twenty days with no home consoles are a bloody hindering awkward problem for someone writing on games (or for any gamer, really), so I gave it a try, and this is the story of that trip.
First of all, I got myself a dedicated bag with good padding. It doesn’t necessarily need to be designed for the PS4, but there are some rather affordable ones. My personal choice fell on the officially licensed case by the British manufacturer Bigben Interactive.
The bag has plenty space for controllers, cables and accessories, but they would increase its weight and volume, making it a bit less comfortable to carry. I just placed them into my luggage. The PS4 itself was the only thing I wanted to have with me at all times, to avoid bumps and accidents that might happen by putting it in the cargo hold of the plane.
The first thing I realized, was how comfortable the console is to carry. Its light weight and small size mean that it’s definitely less cumbersome than my 15″ laptop.
If you’re flying across borders, you might want to file a form stating that you own the console on departure. Every nation has its own, and you should check with customs to know exactly what you need to do. It’s to avoid the rare case in which you could get accused to have bought the console in your destination country as you return back home. It’s free, and it takes five minutes to file.
The first leg of my trip was to get to the airport, and the PS4 took that in stride. You can see it below, happily sitting in its bag without a single scratch on it.
Given the size of the bag, it was actually considered as a laptop case or document briefcase, which means that I was able to bring it on the plane on top of my carry-on luggage for free.
After having lunch, it was time to get ready for departure, and of course the console needed to pass the security checks. You’ll normally be asked to take the console out of the case while passing the scan. It works in the same way as a laptop.
The security officer that performed the check simply smiled when I pulled out my console, and told me that he loves playing Driveclub.
As I walked to the gate, the 777 was already waiting for me and my PS4. In the picture below you can actually see that the case with the console is smaller (and a lot more comfy to carry) than my laptop briefcase.
On the plane, I placed the PS4 on the overhead bin, and it was ready for its twelve-hour trip back to its Japanese homeland.
After landing in Tokyo, I wasn’t even asked to open the bags. I passed customs without a single question asked, while a friend carrying photographic equipment had to pull out every single piece.
About two hour later, I finally got to my hotel in Shinjuku, and it was time to see if the PS4 survived the trip. Of course, if you’re traveling to a country with different outlets, you shouldn’t forget your adapter. You can buy one at the airport in an emergency, but they tend to be rather pricey there. Voltage shouldn’t be a problem, as the PS4 eats up between 100 and 240 Volts with no issue.
After hooking the console up to the TV, I was a little nervous. It received no bumps during the trip, but you never know. It was my first time in a long while, after all.
As soon as I hooked up all the cables and the DualShock 4, I turned it on, and of course it worked perfectly. My PS4 had survived its twelve-hour trip back to its homeland without a single scratch, and no worse for wear.
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of small size when thinking consoles, but if you travel a lot, the PS4’s small form factor can definitely be a life saver.
I can’t avoid admitting that I was hesitant. Now I can definitely say that Sony’s console is going to become a regular traveling companion.