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2019 PS4 Buyer’s Guide – What to Look For

Even though the PlayStation 4 was released all the way back in 2013, the consoles are still flying off the shelves. Now that the PS4 has been out for over 5 years, it’s easier than ever to get a great deal – in this buyer’s guide, we’ll show you how to choose the right console for the best price.

Is a PS4 the Right Console for You?

Are you switching over from another popular gaming console? Make sure that the PS4 interface is something you are comfortable learning if you aren’t already familiar with it.
You’ll also want to think about the types of games you want to play. Some games are exclusive to the PS4, while others are exclusive to Xbox consoles.

PS4 exclusives include:

  • Spiderman
  • The Last of Us
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • God of War (2018)
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • The Uncharted Series
  • The Last Guardian

Popular Xbox exclusives that you won’t be able to play on the PS4 include:

  • The Halo Series
  • Cuphead
  • State of Decay
  • Gears of War
  • Forza Horizon
  • Sea of Thieves
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

Because Xbox is owned by Microsoft, many of these games are also available to play on PC.

You should also consider your compatibility for online play. If you are interested in playing with your friends and they all have Xbox Ones, you might not be able to play some games online with them.

Type of Model

There are three major models of the PS4 – Original, Slim, and Pro.

  • The Original: Lovingly nicknamed the PS4 Fat, this is the original console released in 2013. Both 500GB and 1TB models are available.
  • The PS4 Slim: The newer model features some differences, including its smaller build, matte black finish, faster WiFi, better Bluetooth connection, and more power-efficient system. If you already have a perfectly functional original PS4, you won’t gain much from upgrading to the Slim. The Slim, however, is worth considering if you need a replacement or are getting your first PS4. Originally only available as a 500GB model, a 1TB model was introduced in 2017.
  • The PS4 Pro: This is a much more powerful option and offers a significant performance boost. Sony specifically markets these consoles to gamers with 4K TVs because the hardware allows for better image quality. If you have a 4K TV (or know you are getting one in the future) and have the cash to spare, the Pro is worth the investment. Only 1TB models are available.

Who to Buy From

If you are buying a brand new PS4, make sure you are getting it from a reputable seller. You should also be aware of the warranty that is included and consider adding protection plans if you feel it is necessary.

It is worth considering buying a used console, but you should be careful about where you purchase it from. It’s usually safe to buy a used PS4 from your local gaming shop that sells pre-owned or refurbished systems. But just in case, know their return policies in the event something is wrong with the console you purchase.

If you are buying one online or from a stranger, you want to make sure that there are not any significant issues with the console. If you meet the seller in person, inspect the console before you hand over the money. Test for things like powering on/off, internet connection, and intact USB ports. Most sellers are honest, but it never hurts to be careful.

Know What Services Are Available

You do not need any of the following services to use a PS4, but they can improve your playing experience.

  • PlayStation Plus allows you to play online and gives you discounts on the PlayStation Store’s digital games. PS Plus will cost you $59.99 per year.
  • PlayStation Now is like Netflix for games – for a monthly fee of $20, you can have unlimited access to over 450 PS4 titles. You’ll also be able to play the games on your PC.
  • PlayStation Vue essentially replaces cable television by streaming channels and offering a DVR cloud service.

Know What Accessories Are Included

It is not uncommon for PS4s to be sold as bundled packages. These are often good deals, so search for ones that include controllers or popular games such as God of War or Assassin’s Creed.

If you’re buying used, make sure the console comes with an HDMI cable, an AC power supply cable, and at least one controller.

Paying for Your PS4

Because a gaming console is typically considered a “want” rather than a “need,” you might find yourself hesitant to shell out money for this purchase. Consoles typically aren’t too expensive but might take a while to save up for, especially when considering additional services and accessories you might purchase.

If you are looking for a way to afford your PS4, consider using a “buy now, pay later” service. Companies such as Oxipay, ZipPay, and Afterpay allow you to buy the items you want without paying for them immediately. When you verify a purchase, you do not have to have the funds available in your bank account. With the companies mentioned above, there aren’t any hidden costs. After purchasing something, you simply have to make regular interest-free payments. This way, you won’t have to wait for your next paycheck to buy your new PS4 and can start gaming right away.