Are you one of the lucky ones who’ve been able to find and purchase a PS5? Even though it’s 2022 and the PS4 has been out for a decade, it still has a lot of life left in it. So before you sell or give away your PS4, check out our suggestions for the 10 best uses for the PS4. If you’re looking for a project to do this weekend, why not dust off that PS4 and give it a little love?
1. Video Streaming
The Playstation 4 is loaded with the most popular streaming apps available. Simply head over to the Playstation store and grab all of the apps you have subscriptions to like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, and Paramount+. Depending on where you live in the world, you may have access to a slightly different set of apps. In Canada for example, Hulu and HBO Max are not available to download.
If you’ve ripped your DVD collection and you’re looking to save money and stream local content, they even have the Plex app. Plex is great because all of your media is synced across all of your household devices. You can pause a movie in one room and resume it in another. However, I wouldn’t recommend Plex on the PS4 unless you have a particularly strong server for transcoding. Much of my content is x265, which the PS4 won’t directly play. I find that compared to a newer Fire Stick, the interface isn’t as responsive and depending on how well your server transcodes, you may experience significant buffering, so it may be frustrating for some.
2. Music Streaming
The PS4 is also a great option for streaming music. Without any workarounds, the best service to stream music on the PS4 is Spotify. Unfortunately, on the PS4, Sony doesn’t offer an app for other streaming services like Apple Music. Similar to video streaming, you simply have to download the Spotify app from the Sony Playstore. If you have a Spotify account, you can even stream music while you’re playing games. You can choose from several pre-made playlists or if you’ve created your own playlists already, you can listen to any of those as well. Much like video, if you still have actual MP3s, you can load them up on a USB and play them from there.
3. Blu-Ray Player
Depending on the type of physical media you have, the PS4 is a great Blu-ray player. The PS4 features a Blu-ray disc player, which is fantastic for playing standard Blu-rays in 1080p, but for 4K UHD Blu-rays, customers will need to purchase a specialized Blu-ray player or a new PS5. If you live in an area that still has slow bandwidth, or don’t want to pay for HD quality, Blue-ray is the best way to watch full HD content. If you’re a disc collector who enjoys listening to all of the extra audio tracks and bonus disc features, this is still one of the greatest Blu-ray players money can buy.
Although it may be harder to find now, similar to the Blue-ray remote Playstation released for the PS3, there is also a PS4 version. It feels a little more natural using a remote control rather than the DS4 to watch movies, particularly for the family.
With a massive back catalog of games, there is nothing wrong with holding onto your PS4 to complete some of the many excellent titles available. The bonus of using an older gaming system is that you can get a ton of games for a fraction of the cost. Whether you’re sticking with physical media or downloading from the Playstation store, there are always amazing deals on games that aren’t the latest and greatest. So, if you’re looking to save some money, there is nothing wrong with the games and graphics from the previous generation. Honestly, for the most part, developers are still figuring out how to get the most out of the PS5.
5. PS Plus
When you sign up for PlayStation Plus, you have access to its features across all of the devices linked to your account, not just your primary device. This allows your secondary PS4 to access the same cloud saves as your primary PS5, allowing you to download and stream content from both consoles. This is great because it gives you the option of having consoles in different rooms of the house, so even if your main TV is being used by the family, you can still game in another room. With access to hundreds of older Playstation games, there is no need to limit your playing time to just the PS5.
6. PS5 Streamer
The PS5 has a great feature that allows you to remote play PS5 games on your PS4. There are a few resolution options to allow for the highest frame rate, but depending on your bandwidth, you may experience less than ideal gaming conditions. It works surprisingly well though, and a great option if you don’t want to buy 2 PS5s but still want to play the latest games, somewhere else in the house. I will often use the remote feature to play PS5 games, through the PS4, on an older 1080p TV. If you’re not sure how to set things up, check out Lifewire.com for a quick how-to guide.
7. Gaming Console for Kids
As a parent, we all know how much kids love video games. If you’re not ready to let them play on your shiny new PS5 quite yet, there are a lot of options on the PS4. There is an almost endless stream of games available for kids if you have a PS Plus membership already. With games like Minecraft, Little Big Planet and Spiro, there is no shortage of entertainment for kids on the PS4.
If you have an older TV set up in a rec room, why not hook up your PS4 and introduce the kids to their first gaming console (provided they don’t already have a Switch)?
8. Watch IPTV on Your PS4
Although possible, this one is a little more difficult. The PS4 does include several apps that will allow you to stream live sports, such as the MLB app but if you already subscribe to an IPTV service and want to use your PS4 to watch, it is technically possible. There are a couple different methods to get this to work, but all have their drawbacks. Quiet honestly, a Fire Stick or similar streaming device would be much easier to setup. If you’re not looking to buy more hardware, or just like a challenge, these are your options for IPTV or streaming a TV Tuner to the PS4:
If you’ve never heard of Jellyfin before, it’s very similar to Plex but was based on an open-source version of Emby. Although you can’t download a Jellyfin app directly onto your PS4, once you’ve setup the Jellyfin server, you can access your content through the PS4 web browser.
Several years ago, when Plex provided more support for plugins, it was relatively easy to get IPTV set up and working through Plex. You can still do it, but you’ll need a couple of extra steps to get there. If you’re just interested in streaming live TV from a capture card, Plex gives you this option built-in. If you are looking to add channels from an IPTV subscription service, you will have to run another program on your server.
xTeve is a great program that allows you to import your IPTV playlist and use it in Plex. Once you have it set up, you can add your IPTV playlist to Plex as if you are adding a video capture card. One drawback of using this method is that Plex has a limit of 480 channels. So you will have to spend some time pairing down your playlist.
You will want to use a site similar to m3u4u to edit your playlist and add an EPG (just be careful with the EPG and xTeve). Straight from their wiki page: “Inappropriate/uneducated use of xTeve easily causes multiple data calls. Such misuse could result in a Ban of m3u4u. Only use with extreme care.” If you are looking to use m3u4u, I would highly recommend that you read through their wiki first.
Once you have all of your channels set up in xTeve and added to Plex, simply add the Plex app to your PS4 and start watching!
9. Web Browser
Although it’s several years old now, your PS4 is a computer and even includes a basic web browser. If you have your PS4 connected to a monitor on a desk, just connect a keyboard through a USB connector and use it like a Chromebook and access all web-based resources.
Overall it’s a decent browser but is a little slow. If you are looking for ways to continue using your PS4, this is a great option. You can access your Google Drive or OneDrive files and even edit documents.
If you don’t immediately see the option for a web browser on your PS4, you may have to navigate to the store and download it to your console. Not sure how to navigate on the browser? Be sure to check out Playstation’s helpful guide.
Out of all the options for continuing to use the PS4 this one is probably the most dangerous. If you’ve ever played with HomeBrew on other consoles before, you’ll know that there is always the risk of bricking your system beyond repair. That said, there is an active HomeBrew community and once you jailbreak the console, you’ll be able to do just about anything you can imagine with it. The key to being able to jailbreak your PS4 is having older firmware on the device. You’ll want to search the internet for exact details on which is the latest firmware you can use.
I would only go down this path if you are truly done with your PS4 and have accepted the possibility that you may never be able to use it again. That said, there are a lot of tools and guides to help you through the process. From something as basic as changing themes to installing and playing retro games, once you jailbreak the PS4, there are lots of options that make HomeBrew very tempting.
There’s nothing wrong with not being on the cutting edge of tech, but occasionally it pays to give something a second chance, whether it’s to reduce waste or save some cash.