The PS5 may be out now, but many are still experiencing difficulties buying one. A semiconductor shortage means that PS5 consoles are in short supply, but there is some good news, especially if you skipped last generation: it’s still easy to buy a PS4. Not only that, but the PS4 still arguably has many of Sony’s best gaming experiences on it; the PS5 has a handful of essential purchases, but it’s still yet to hit its stride, while there’s still plenty you can do with a PS4. Here are the top 10 things you should do with your new console when you buy one.
1. Play the best games around
It’s pretty much inarguable that the PlayStation 4 has the best lineup of games available right now (with the possible exception of the PC). Bloodborne, God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Death Stranding…the list goes on and on, and those are just the console exclusives. It sounds obvious, but naturally, one of the first things you should do when you unbox your shiny new PS4 is play some games on it. If you’re still yet to experience the joys of the eighth generation, you’ll be wowed.
2. Check out the web browser
Sony has explained its decision not to include a web browser on the PS5, but we still think it’s a major missed opportunity. The web browser was a great way to access content you couldn’t through conventional means, and was also an excellent alternative to desktop or laptop browsing. Your PS4 still has a browser, so go ahead and fire it up. We’d recommend trying out some fun online casino games on your PS4 as an inaugural task. Don’t know where to start? Just check out the rankings and see which one tickles your fancy.
3. Change up your theme
There are a range of free PS4 themes available to choose from on the PlayStation Store, so there’s no excuse for keeping the drab (if effective) default theme. Browse through the selection, pick one you like, then head into your console’s settings menu to change the theme. Before you know it, your user experience will be significantly more vibrant and enjoyable. Who knows – you might even get to enjoy a little music while you’re browsing your games!
4. Try out the media apps
Your new PS4 isn’t just a gaming hub. A wide variety of media apps are also available for the console, and some of them even come pre-installed on new machines. Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and other services all have dedicated apps on PS4, so if you subscribe to any of these, it’s worth taking a look at them on PS4. After all, if you can consolidate all of your viewing and gaming onto a single machine, you’ll make your life significantly easier!
5. Type using motion control
When you type messages to friends on your PS4 – or even when you’re just setting up account details – the typing experience can be laborious at best. However, did you know the PS4 allows for motion-sensitive typing? There’s an icon on the on-screen keyboard that changes your cursor and allows you to input by moving the controller rather than simply using the analogue sticks. It’s definitely worth using if you’ve found the typing experience unintuitive.
6. Turn your TV on with your console
Thanks to the magic of a feature called HDMI Device Link, you can actually ask your PS4 to switch on your TV when you want to start gaming. You’ll find this option under Settings, then System, then Enable HDMI Device Link. Of course, your TV will need to support this feature in the first place; some older models probably won’t. Worse comes to worst, you’ll just need to manually switch on the TV when you want to play some PS4, but having them both come on simultaneously feels positively space-age.
7. Sign up to PS Plus
If you’re planning to do the majority of your gaming on PlayStation, you’ll definitely want to sign up to PS Plus. Sony’s service doesn’t just grant you two or three games each month at no additional cost; it’s also necessary if you want to play games online, and you’ll find exclusive discounts and offers via the PS Store as well. Plus also allows you to access the cloud, where you can store save data so you can recover it later if your hard drive goes kaput.
8. Turn on Boost Mode (if you have a PS4 Pro)
This one’s strictly for the PS4 Pro owners. Unfortunately, if you have a base PS4 model or a Slim, you won’t be able to do this. If you’re a Pro owner, head into your Settings menu and go to System. There, you’ll find an option marked “Boost Mode”, which will allow you to add a little extra juice to your PS4 games. Some PS4 games have dedicated Pro modes with higher resolutions or frame rates, but others can still be enhanced just a little bit by Boost Mode.
9. Connect an external storage drive
Running out of space on your PS4 sucks. There’s no two ways about it. However, you can expand your storage easily by using an external drive. This way, you can store games, media, and other content you won’t immediately need, thus freeing up storage space to allow you to access content you do need more easily. If you can afford it, you should definitely consider picking up a solid state drive (SSD), as these devices are much faster than their mechanical cousins.
10. Play some PS2 and PS3 games
Unfortunately, the PS4 can’t natively play PS2 or PS3 discs, but there is still a way you can enjoy these games. The PlayStation Now streaming service has many PS2 and PS3 classics on offer, and you can play them without downloading them. Of course, PS Now does depend on the strength of your internet connection; if you don’t have a stable connection, you’re going to experience frequent dips in quality. However, if you’re confident in your connection’s ability to keep up, PS Now can be a veritable treasure trove of nostalgia.