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Ever since it became apparent that I would need supernatural abilities to buy a never-in-stock PlayStation 5, I’ve started to consider other options, namely: whether I should just buy the PlayStation 4 instead.
Hear me out: The PlayStation 4 retails $100 cheaper than the least expensive PlayStation 5 — and it’s $200 cheaper than the high-end PlayStation 5. Plus, the PlayStation 4 runs the exact same games, and Sony allows online gameplay between both PS4 and 5 users.
And if Sony’s past actions have taught us anything, it should be that they’ll continue to support the PlayStation 4 well into the PlayStation 5’s lifespan. Let me tell you more about it below.
Of course, all things PlayStation are flying off the shelves right now. Give yourself an edge by downloading the Krazy Coupon Lady app and bookmarking our PlayStation deals.
1. Looking for a PlayStation 5? Use bots to get an alert as soon as PlayStations are restocked.
In July 2021, New York Times tech reporter Brian Chen wrote a piece that showed how we can use bots to get a push notification every time PlayStation restocks happen.
According to Chen, folks have made Twitter bots that scan code on a retailer’s website for clues — specifically, an “add to cart” button — which would hint that PlayStations are back in stock.
Chen verified a handful of accounts, but the one I follow is @PS5StockAlerts. Then I set up push notifications to let me know anytime that account tweets.
2. Look for PlayStation 4 or 5 console as soon as you get a PlayStation 5 alert.
When I asked Best Buy employees, they told me that PS5 and PS4 restocks happen at the same time.
That means when you get a message saying PS5 is restocked — PS4 consoles should be available, too.
But wait; here’s why I think you should buy at Playstation 4 instead of a 5…
3. Expect Sony to keep releasing new games for PlayStation 4 through at least 2025.
For over a decade, Sony has supported older-generation PlayStation consoles with new games.
Sony kept releasing PS1 games until 2006, then they launched the PS3 (2007 in the U.S.). We saw the same thing with the PS2: Games were produced until the PS4 came out in 2013. The last PS3 game was released a few months before the PS5 dropped in 2020.
If Sony sticks to their usual gap of six to seven years between console releases, they’ll support the PS4 console with new games through 2025. This makes a strong case for the PS4 staying relevant for a number of years.
4. PlayStation 4 owners can still play online with friends who own a PlayStation 5.
Even when more folks are able to get their hands on a PS5, PS4 owners won’t have to worry about too much FOMO — that’s because Sony supports cross-generational online play (read: PS4 and PS5 gamers can play together).
The only exception is for games that are exclusively released on the PS5, but that hasn’t happened for the most popular online games like Call of Duty, Madden ’22, or Fortnite.
5. We’ve seen 50 – 75% savings on PlayStation 4 games since the PlayStation 5 was released.
Normally, the best time to buy any video game is during Black Friday. In 2020, that’s when we were able to score one of the year’s most highly acclaimed games — Marvel’s Spider-Man — for 50% off.
Buy 1 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition – PlayStation 4 (
reg. $39.99) $19.99, sale price
Free shipping with Amazon Prime or on orders of $25+
Final Price: $19.99
But throughout 2021, we’ve started to see rollback and clearance prices applied to PS 4 games, and those savings have been even bigger than what we found during Black Friday 2020, like this deal on Borderlands from Walmart:
Buy 1 Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Sony PlayStation 4 Game (
reg. $59.99) $14.88, rollback price
Free 2-day shipping with Walmart+
Or free shipping on orders of $35+ or free store pickup (6 days)
Final Price: $14.88
6. Don’t hesitate if you find a new PlayStation 4 during Black Friday 2021 — just buy it.
Although it’s an older system, in 2021 retailers have been selling out of the PS4 faster than they can restock it. Considering that GameStop is selling refurbished PS4 consoles for anywhere from $280 – $400, the retail price of $299.99 for a new one is good value. Take it if you can find it. During Black Friday 2020 we saw that price drop to $249.99 at Kohl’s.
Buy 1 PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Fortnite Neo Versa Bundle (
reg. $299.99) $249.99, sale price
Receive $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50
Receive $5 Yes2You Rewards for every $100 spent
Cardholders, use DECMVCFREE for free shipping
Non-cardholders, free shipping on orders of $50+ or free store pickup
Final Price: $249.99, plus $10 Yes2You Rewards and $60 Kohl’s Cash
7. PlayStation 4 inventory at Walmart, Best Buy, and Target might not show up online — call them instead.
Most retailers won’t carry PS5 consoles in stores; places such as Target and Walmart require you to shop for that online. That’s not the case with PS4.
Even when Walmart’s website was showing me they only had refurbished PS4 consoles, when I called the store, I discovered they had two new systems left at that location.
8. If you buy a used PlayStation 4, make sure it connects to the PlayStation Network.
The ability to connect to the PlayStation Network is key to the PS4’s longevity. You’ll need access to that network for online play, to download games online, and to stream TV, movies, and music.
All PS4 consoles should be able to connect, but if the previous owner violated Sony’s online terms, then Sony won’t just ban that player. They’ll ban the actual console from ever reconnecting to the PlayStation Network.
Make sure you test it before you buy it. To sign in, simply open the PSN sign-in screen from the PlayStation home page. You should be able to create your account. If you see the error code WS-37338-4 when you sign on, then the console is banned.
I hope this helps make your holiday shopping plan a little easier. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below! Thanks for reading.