The past Players who have struggled to acquire next-gen consoles this year will see more of them in their hands. I was elated when I got my hands on a non-price-gouged retail PS5, and since then I’ve been living in a two-PlayStation house. After making room for the replacement, my PS4 was left to sit in a corner.
My trusty PS4 had served me well for many years, and I’d already upgraded its internal drive to an SSD during the PS5 dry season. Could I sell it to follow the lead of the masses? Yes, but how could it be such a disgrace? It had great value to myself, not just for others, and I knew there were many ways it would continue to bring glory to my home as console emeritus. If that sounds familiar, here’s how you can make the most of yours too.
If you have other televisions or monitors in the house, relocating your PS4 is going to be the precursor to the benefits I’ll get into below. I moved mine from my bedroom to my office, where I also have my gaming rig. I know a lot of people who have consoles in their bedrooms. This makes it easier to play some gaming before you go to sleep. (Though, it is not a good combination of screens and sleep. The kids’ room, whose tiny inhabitants may not need the full power of a next-gen console, is another option. Maybe it becomes a portable console for family trips—or just your own travels. Wherever you take it, you’ll still get a lot out of it.
Enjoy the PS Plus Benefits
PlayStation Plus subscribers get the same benefits as a single console, but they also extend to other PS accounts. This means your PS4, even if it’s not your primary console, can download and stream content while connecting to the same cloud saves you use on your primary PS5. You want to play some Spider-Man: Miles Morales In your living room? Great! You can continue it on your PS4 while keeping your saved game intact.
Make it a PS5 Jr.
Upon the PlayStation 5’s release, Sony added a feature to the PS4 to stream directly from it, giving you a second console to access content that’s on your shiny, new PS5. You can pair the consoles by using the Remote Play options found in the system settings. I’m not going to lie, it’s not *perfect—*the controls aren’t exact—although I haven’t had much of an issue. Since you’ll be using a Sony DualShock 4 controller (or equivalent) it won’t have the full capabilities that the PS5 DualSense controller comes equipped with. However, the PS5 Edition of the controller can still play the flute. Ghost of Tsushima, I’ve been OK.
Make it a Media Streaming Box
PS4 apps and PS4 games will remain available for a while. This means your media and streaming app, such as Netflix, Hulu Max, Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime Video can turn your PS4 into an entertainment center for streaming and local content.
Plex is my favorite media app for the PS4. Plex allows you to connect with a Plex media server in your area to access all content on your local network. Because I’m that level of geek, I’ve ripped most of my DVD/Blu-ray collection to a digital library that sits on a media server in my office. Using Plex, all of that, plus other local video I have (OK, it’s all jiujitsu instructionals) is available for play on my PS4.
And it’s not just video. The PS4 is well equipped to handle music and podcasts as well, including those soundtracks that came with your special-edition game purchases that you can’t really transfer or play easily anywhere else (which is nuts, because where you really want it is in your car or on a CD or You can find it anywhere else).
But I digress.
Physical media isn’t off the table either. You can simply plug in and play music, movies, and photos stored on external USB drives. A word of warning: The PS4 doesn’t support NTFS, the default file system that Windows PCs use, so that physical media will have to be formatted in either FAT32 or exFAT before you copy your music and movies over to it. And if you’re a disc fan who likes to listen to all of the additional audio tracks and bonus disc content, it’s still one of the best Blu-ray players you can get.