All the Ways You Can Make Use of Your Old PS4 or Xbox One

All the Ways You Can Make Use of Your Old PS4 or Xbox One
Photo: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo
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If you’ve just upgraded to a Sony PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S, you might be wondering whether your existing console is just going to sit in a corner gathering dust. Are you really going to go back to it all that much? If the answer is probably no, then you’ve got a few different options when it comes to what to do with it.

One option is of course to simply carry on gaming: You may have built up a huge collection of titles, and new releases are still going to appear for the last generation of machines for a while yet. If you don’t want to move your games over to your new console, then you can still get hours and hours of fun out of the old one yet.

If you decide that you’re going to do most or all of your gaming on your new console in the future, then there are really two main options for your old PS4 or Xbox One: Either repurpose it using the other apps available for the hardware, or say goodbye to it by putting it up for sale, donating it to a worthy cause, or recycling it.

Turn It Into a Media Center

If you’re not going to carry on gaming with your old PS4 or Xbox One, but you still want to hang on to it, the obvious alternative use is as a media centre: Both the Sony and the Microsoft consoles support a bunch of video and music apps that you can carry on using while keeping the gaming machine hooked up to a TV or monitor.

Some of the movie and TV show apps you can install on either of these consoles include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Disney Plus. Even Apple TV has now made its way to the PS4 and the Xbox One, so you can queue up all the digital media you’ve bought from Apple and the Apple TV Plus streaming service. On the music side, there’s Spotify on both consoles and SoundCloud on the Xbox One.

Netflix runs just about anywhere, including on games consoles. (Screenshot: Netflix) Netflix runs just about anywhere, including on games consoles. (Screenshot: Netflix)

All of these apps are simple and quick to install, and can be accessed from the respective app stores on the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One — subscription prices will vary from app to app, but once you’re signed in and set up, you can start watching pretty much straight away.

Don’t forget the ability of the PS4 and the Xbox One to play discs either — you can spin up Blu-rays, DVDs, and even CDs using the consoles, depending on the machine. The PS4 can play Blu-rays and DVDs, but not CDs; the Xbox One consoles (with the obvious exception of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition) are able to play Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs. Just slot in the disc to get started.

There’s an extra option if you’ve got an Xbox One and a Windows computer somewhere else on your home network. Get the Wireless Display app installed on your Xbox console, and as long as you’re on the same network, you should be able to use the console as a wireless, second screen for your PC: You can beam over photos, websites, movies, games or whatever you want. On Windows, open Settings then go to Devices, Bluetooth & other devices, and Add Bluetooth or other device to make the connection.

Sell or Donate It

If you’re not going to keep gaming on your old console, or use it as a media centre, then you can opt to sell or donate it. Donating will leave you with a fuzzy glow but less cash: You shouldn’t have to look for long to find a niece, nephew, neighbour, or friend who will gladly take your PS4 or Xbox One (and all the associated games) off your hands.

Should you not be able to find anyone, plenty of charities and institutions (like hospitals and youth centres) will take an old PS4 or Xbox One off your hands, including the likes of Charity Nerds and Gamers Outreach — but always get in touch with them in advance to check. Most charities that accept donations should be open to the donation.

You might want to hang on to your PS4 or Xbox controllers — they can be used with the newer consoles, or with your smartphone, or with a Windows computer. If you do any gaming anywhere else, then it might be worth hanging on to your controller and repurposing it for use on a different device.

Keep your fingers off your iPhone screen by connecting up a gamepad. (Photo: Apple) Keep your fingers off your iPhone screen by connecting up a gamepad. (Photo: Apple)

As for selling, trading your console in is the most convenient option, though you’ll probably get less money for it. From brick-and-mortar retailers to online outfits, you’ve got a few places to pick from — just make sure you look up the instructions for fully resetting your console and wiping it clean before you part with it.

Direct selling sites like eBay are more effort but will usually return you more money. If you’re new to selling relatively high-price gadgets on these sites, check out the help pages before you get started: Take lots of photos, be detailed in your listings, and get some help from a more experienced seller, if you can.

Whatever you do, don’t just put your console in the trash. Even broken devices will fetch money on eBay (they’ll probably be repaired or used for parts), and there’s several also options for recycling your PS4 or Xbox One via Microsoft and other vendors. Once you’ve responsibly disposed of your old hardware in whatever way you see fit, you can make the most of gaming on your new console.