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Sony has many business ventures in multimedia and entertainment, but there’s no question that one of its biggest markets is the video game industry. To that end, the company develops several home entertainment consoles that allow gamers to immerse themselves in realistic, virtual worlds. The PlayStation series is one of the main lines of gaming systems that Sony manufactures, and it has seen several iterations over the years. The PlayStation 4 and 5 are two of these, with the latter being Sony’s most recent offering as of 2022.
Many gamers who enjoy the PS5 probably started with earlier versions of the console. As such, you’ll find whole communities who still own their older PlayStations, and this would include the PS4. Those players might wonder if there is any reason to keep a PlayStation 4 around when they already have access to the later PlayStation 5.
It is this question that we will seek to answer in our article today. As we go along, we’ll try to figure out what different uses you could have for the PS4 when you also already have its successor. We can dive deeper into the specs of the PS5, including its backwards compatibility with older titles, how graphics tend to look on it, and some of the major differences between the two consoles.
The answer to this question is quite personal, and there is no one correct answer. However, there might be some reasons that you would want to keep your PS4 alongside your newer PS5. We can take you through some of the main use cases for a PS4 console here in this section.
We don’t intend for our list to be comprehensive, but it should include some of the primary ways that gamers can make use of their older consoles. Here are a few things you can do with a PS4:
1. Because the PS4 is older, it will have a more established community for a while. In turn, this means that the software homebrews that you can do with the PlayStation 4 will probably be more numerous and advanced.
Home-brewing involves communities of players programming other features or operating systems into the console to get it to do different things. In fact, the predecessor to the PS4 had this capability from the start, and Sony designed it that way.
2. You might have games you can’t find anywhere else. Unlike an exclusive to the PS4, which should be playable on a newer console, you may have downloaded games that just aren’t on the virtual storefront anymore. If so, you wouldn’t be able to get the same content on your PS5 unless you transferred it.
3. The concept of nostalgia might seem overrated to some gamers, but others make it a big part of their fond memories of the hobby. Even if you own a PS5 now, you may be one of the players who enjoyed the use of your PS4 for many years. Some gamers may wish to hold on to their consoles for the sake of these fun times in the past.
4. On a related note, it isn’t uncommon for some gamers to collect and keep all kinds of consoles. Some of them even like to play games that would run on a newer console on the original one for which the developers made them.
When you pair this kind of thing with older display options and accessories, the aspect of collecting gaming memorabilia can become even clearer and stronger.
5. Thanks to remote play, you can still play PS5 games on the PS4. This might be a good option for those times when the PS5 or its video device are otherwise engaged by others. You can hook up your PS4 in a different room, access PS5 titles, and play them even without the use of the latter console.
6. Upgrades are always nice, but so are backups. This is exactly what the PS4 could be for you. Since you can still play PS5 titles on it, and since it runs a lot of your favorite games from the past already, there is little reason not to keep the PlayStation 4 as a secondary console. If something happens to the PS5, you still have a way to play lots of games while you fix the other unit.
Having a PS4 can be great for living spaces that you share with others, and you may wish to keep your new PS5 in your own room. Furthermore, you can take your PS4 with you on trips, especially if you’d prefer not to move or lose your PlayStation 5.
This gives you a great opportunity to keep playing games elsewhere, and you afford your PS5 some protection at the same time.
7. There could still be many PS4 games you haven’t played yet. Even though you should be able to play most of them on the PS5, you can get some good deals on older titles that will be perfectly serviceable on the PS4, too.
Yes, you have the option to use both consoles simultaneously. Part of this is due to what we mentioned earlier about remote play. This feature essentially streams the PS5 content to your PS4.
That way, you can have your two consoles set up in different rooms, but both of them will be active. You can even do this with the same PSN account, but you would need two PlayStation 4 consoles for this.
If you have them, you can set one as the primary console. If you do this, the primary console can access the shared digital library of content from its own PSN account, and that includes content from a different account holder on the second device. The same holds true for a PS5.
Those gamers who operate the PS4 consoles could have access to your library. In this way, someone can access your games, thanks to your account, and you’ll still be able to sign in to that account when you boot up your PS5. Both players on two different consoles can enjoy this library.
Yes, the PlayStation 5 can play games that developers made for the PlayStation 4. In fact, almost the entire library of games for the previous console is accessible and can work on the new one. You may still wish to keep the older gaming system for cheaper games, but those same titles should run on the PlayStation 5, too.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Sony produced just a few titles that the newer system will not recognize or play. If you go to the online virtual store, you can look for the marker that reads playable on PS4 only.
A game with this designation will not work on the PlayStation 5. That said, there are fewer than 10 games like this throughout the whole PlayStation 4 library. Therefore, you can access almost all of it from the PS5.
Some players may be interested in a PS5 just as a way to improve the immersion or realism of their favorite PS4 titles. After all, it can take a while for the titles exclusive to a newer console to get their own releases, and there is still plenty of content to enjoy on the previous game system.
Some fresh graphics could breathe new life into an experience you’ve already had, or they could make a new one that much better for you.
The answer to this question may depend on the game. The PlayStation 5 has a feature called Game Boost. As the name suggests, Sony intends for this boost to make some improvements to things like the resolution or frames per second that you see during some of your PlayStation 4 gaming sessions.
Therefore, the PS5 does have the ability to offer some performance enhancements to games that run on its predecessor. You may see better speeds, frames, and higher textures on some of these games.
However, not all games may do this. Some games will need to have data or codes inside them that help them communicate with the PlayStation 5 and its Game Boost dynamic.
If a particular title doesn’t have this ability, the PS5 will run the game in legacy mode. Legacy mode simulates the game as it would run on the hardware of a PlayStation 4, and this remains true even if you’re running it on a PlayStation 5.
The hardware and technical specifications for the later PS5 are the things setting it apart from its predecessor. Before we get into that, we should say that some of this is variable. The PlayStation 5 may not always run all games on the highest specifications every time.
The hardware inside accounts for some variation in performance. That said, on balance, you should still get some kind of performance increase from the new game system.
Both consoles base their graphics chipsets on similar brand models, but the PS5 gets a more powerful version of this. The PlayStation 5 has a GPU with a greater number of compute units and teraflops than the PlayStation 4.
This means that the graphics processor in the PS5 can handle over 10 teraflops. A teraflop is one measurement of the performance that a GPU can give.
In the case of the PlayStation 5, you’re looking at a teraflop rating like this, in contrast to the 1.84 of the PlayStation 4. Although this is only one measurement, you can use it to determine that the PS5 is several times more advanced than its predecessor.
Although each gamer will have to decide whether keeping an older console around is worth it to them, there’s no question that there could be some advantages to letting your PlayStation 4 sit alongside your PlayStation 5.
It gives the home another console for communal use, and it provides a backup to your newer system. You’re free to use both systems at the same time, too. Even without the technical reasons, don’t underestimate the draw of PlayStation 4 nostalgia.