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Ask Arthur

Ask Arthur: Are old gaming consoles still usable?

A reader is not sure if a gift of an old console is even worth accepting. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK suggests it is.

Q: Are old gaming consoles still usable? A friend has upgraded and wants to give me an old PlayStation, I don’t know if it’s even worth taking it.

A: You don’t mention which model, but the bottom line is yes, most old consoles are still usable if you have the games that came with them.

The original PlayStation, the PS1 or PSX, will be 30 years old this year, but is still functional if you have a working device. It came with a vast library of games, many of which are classics. The laser lens used to read discs can play up and may need careful cleaning. PS1 games are also available on later PlayStation consoles via digital download or emulation, but if you want the authentic experience, try it on the original, as many retro gaming enthusiasts do. That means there is likely to be a community of users who can help when things fall apart, either through repair services or providing replacement parts. For other old consoles, ChatGPY helpfully suggests these reasons to keep the faith:

Functionality: If the console is in good working condition, it can still be used to play games. Many old consoles are built to last and can function well for decades.

Game Library: Older consoles have extensive game libraries with many classic titles that are not available on newer systems. Fans of retro gaming often seek out these systems to experience games from previous generations.

Collectibility: Some people collect old gaming consoles as a hobby. Rare and well-maintained systems can be valuable to collectors.

Nostalgia: Many gamers have fond memories of playing on older consoles and enjoy revisiting those experiences.

Modding and Repairs: There is a community of enthusiasts who specialise in repairing and modding old consoles, which can extend their lifespan and add new functionality, such as HDMI outputs or modern storage solutions.

Emulation: While not the same as using the original hardware, emulators can run games from old consoles on modern devices, preserving the gameplay experience.

Market Availability: Many old consoles and their games are available on the second-hand market, making it possible to purchase and use them even if you no longer have your original system.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx, editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee.

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