You got a new PS4 Pro or Xbox One X for the holidays. Pretty sweet, right? Unfortunately, now your old console is sitting in a corner collecting dust. If you’re a fan of video games, this is probably a scenario that has played out numerous times before. If you have a collection of old video game consoles sitting around and aren’t sure what to do with them, check out this guide.
1. Sell It
Most people’s gut reaction would be to sell their old console. Fortunately, there are a variety of options available if you want to try and make some money from your old consoles. Selling it yourself via eBay or Craigslist will maximize potential earnings. That being said, you’ll have to have the patience and the will to deal with the pitfalls of private sales.
If you can’t be bothered with the hassle, you can sell your old game console to various online resellers. Be aware that you probably won’t stand to make as much than if you sold it yourself. However, if your main concern is getting it out of the house fast while making some extra dough, this is your best bet. Last but not least, you can always try selling your old game console to a brick and mortar store like GameStop. That being said, you’ll probably make the least amount of money if you go down this route.
2. Donate It
If you don’t care about making money and like the idea of your pre-loved console finding new purpose, consider donating it. Gamers Outreach has been donating video games to hospitals for almost ten years. Operation Supply Drop organizes and deploys “generationally appealing care packages” (translation: video games) to military personnel stationed overseas.
The charities mentioned above are only a small sample of charities providing recreation, therapy and happiness through the power of video games. A quick Google search can match you up with the charity you’d like to help out with your old console.
3. Hack It
If the idea of bricking your old console isn’t a deal breaker, you might want to try modding. There are a number of passionate modding communities that have developed ways to repurpose your old console. Modding a Wii or Wii U is fairly easy and can open the door to strong homebrew communities. You can also experiment by flashing custom firmware on your Xbox 360 to play backups of your games from a hard drive. In addition, you can even install Linux on your PS3 for a console-turned-PC or file server.
Note: the legality of modding/hacking your console depends on what you are planning to do with it. Be aware that altering your console will definitely void your warranty.
4. Gut It
With the NES and SNES Classic tapping in to nostalgia, why not make your own? Simply gut your old console’s insides and replace them with a Raspberry Pi. You’ll end up with an emulation machine housed in a legit retro console shell that can play a heck of a lot more than 30 games. You can even cram a Raspberry Pi Zero in an old controller or game cartridge!
Personally, the thought of opening up one of my beloved old consoles and ripping its guts out is horrifying. However, if you have an old console that doesn’t work anymore or is destined for the trash heap, you might want to consider it.
5. Use It as a Media Center
Who needs a Fire Stick or Apple TV when you have a perfectly good media player in the form of your old console? Older consoles from the last generation or two like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can play physical media like DVDs and Blu-rays.
Note: Different consoles may support different formats. For more information, conduct a quick Google search.
In addition, older consoles can also play back media files housed on external USB flash drives and hard drives. Furthermore, these consoles often support a wide range of video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Finally, grab a media remote and ditch the controller to complete the transformation!
6. Set Up a Game Room
One of the most obvious things to do with an old console is to hook it up and revisit your old favorites. If you’ve got the space, you might want to consider creating a dedicated videogame room. Be aware that connecting older consoles to modern TVs does require some extra hardware.
Alternatively, you can grab a few cheap CRT TVs from Craigslist or a local thrift store for a more authentic experience. Last but not least, snag some videogame paraphernalia to scatter around and viola, you have a dedicated game room.
7. Recycle It
If none of the above appeals to you, you might be leaning towards simply throwing your console out. Just don’t dump it in the trash. Old electronics, including video game consoles, have a number of hazardous chemicals inside them. Over time the electrical components inside your console corrode and poison the environment.
Instead, do Mother Nature a favor and recycle your old console. Best Buy and Nintendo of America both have game console recycling programs. Alternatively, you can find a local e-waste recycling center by checking the e-Stewards website.
What do you do with your old video game consoles? Let us know in the comments!