How to Extend the Life of Your PS4

Who says your PS4 will only last 5 years?
Tayler Tayler (71)
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When Sony first released the 4th rendition of their gaming console, the PlayStation, in 2013, it was released with an estimated average lifespan of 5 years. This lifespan remained unchanged through the PS4 Pro's release and would only increase by a year with the PS5 2020 release.

Despite the recent release of the PS5, many Sony gamers have had trouble securing their next-gen consoles (primarily due to a global computer ship shortage following the pandemic). This shortage has many PS4 owners turning to their current systems, wondering if it will last until the next-gen console can be secured.

Like any system, the PS4 is fallible – one day, it will break, but did you know there are a few things you can do to help it last as long as possible?

Whether you're waiting for the PS5 to be more widely available or you're interested in basic console maintenance, here are 3 things you can do to extend the life of your PS4, plus a bonus step for the owners of a PS4 Pro!

Do you know what the PS4 was originally called? Keep reading to find out!

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PS4 on a shelf.

One of the most important things you can do while playing your PS4 is this: keep your system from overheating. Not only will this preserve your data, but it's a crucial step if you want to learn how to extend the life of your PS4.

Seems simple, right?

In theory, yes! Keeping your PS4 cool while gaming can be as simple as placing your console in a spot that won't block airflow to the fans on the back of the system. But when we take a closer look at keeping your system cool, there are a few additional steps you can take to avoid overheating.

Place Your PS4 in a Well-Ventilated Place

As you game, your system heats up, which is why the system comes with built-in fans that help dissipate the heat.

When we place our consoles in a closed space, the heat won't dissipate, leading to higher temperatures that can damage the system.

Place your PS4 on an open shelf that offers open airflow behind the fans.

If your system's fans sound like they're trying to propel your PS4 through the air, you can invest in an external cooling fan that boosts the performance of the built-in fans. The OIVO PS4 Cooling Station is a good option!

Speaking of your fans and vents, let's talk about those ports.

PS4 vents.

If you keep or have moved your system to a conducive cooling place, you're off to a great start in elongating the life of your PS4.

If you're not cleaning out your vents and exhaust ports, however, even the most rigorous heat reduction measures will only take you so far.

Dust and hair particles can gather around the vents, blocking airflow to your system's processors and causing heat buildup, which can cause lasting damage to your console. This is especially true for pet owners.

If you turn your PS4 around and inspect the exhaust vents and ports that line the back of the system and see any build-up, take a few minutes each week sweep a clean paintbrush back and forth across the vents to clean them. You'll thank yourself later when your PS4 lifespan surpasses the average of 5 years.

PS4 Pro vents are recessed (see the attached image for reference), but using the same brush method as above will keep them clean.

HDD.

Unlike the PS5, which comes with a custom SSD preinstalled, the PS4 was released with an HDD.

While hard disk drives (HDDs) are a legacy technology* that is still heavily relied upon today, solid state drives (SDDs) surpass their predecessors in performance and size.

The lifespan of your PS4 is dependent on many factors, but since the average lifespan of an HDD is 3-5 years, the lasting performance of your console is dependent on its drive. When your HDD starts to fail, the following things can start happening:

  • Your console will start overheating.
  • Repeated disk errors.
  • Frequent crashes.
  • Frequent freezes.
  • Data can't be accessed.
  • Worst of all: you could lose your game files.

Upgrading the HDD to an SDD before these problems start happening is a great way to preserve your game files while improving performance.

Please note: Always back up your data before removing an old HDD, and, once you've installed your new drive, always reinstall the PS4 operating system.

Software update screen.

From time to time, Sony will push a software update to all PS4s in their system.

These updates include anything from recent bug fixes, improved security measures, the occasional new feature release, etc.

When you skip an update, your system will be less secure, making it more prone to hackers and other security concerns. This is especially troubling if you've linked a credit card to your account for online purchases.

Not only will you be more secure in your gaming, but your system will have all the most recent features, which could help improve system performance and address any problems you might be facing.

If you have automatic updates turned on for your system, you'll be prompted to update your system when you first log in. Otherwise, you can follow these steps:

  • Select Settings
  • Select System Software Update
  • If your system is up-to-date, the message "The latest version of the system software is already installed" will pop up, and you can select Ok.
  • Otherwise, you'll be prompted to download the update and install it onto your console.

With that, you have everything you need to keep your PS4 running well for as long as possible!

Now, are you ready to find out what the PS4 was originally called?

The PS4 was initially called PlayStation Orbis!

"Orbis" is the name of the updatable firmware and operating system of the PS4. In the months before the console's release in 2012, the name was changed from PS Orbis to just the PS4.

Connect more than one controller.
Tayler Tayler (71)
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Thankfully, one of the easiest parts of owning a PS4 is the pairing of a new controller.