An unqualified success since its launch in 2013, the PS4 is a continuation of the incredible PlayStation legacy. It’s the most popular console of its generation, meaning that the chances are that if your kids are looking for a console that will enable them to play with their friends, it’ll be the PS4.
In this guide, we’ll aim to answer all the common questions you may have when buying a PS4 for your son or daughter, including the range of games available, which models to buy, how much a basic setup will cost and what sort of parental controls the system comes with.
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What are some of the best family-friendly games available on the PS4?
The PS4 has a wide library of games, with a great selection of the big cross-platform games such as FIFA 18 as well as some big exclusives, like Horizon Zero Dawn. Recently launched Playlink games like Knowledge is Power, which transform your phones into controllers, make great party games that don’t require you to own more than one actual PS4 controller. If your a mum or dad and are looking to play a game co-op, why not take a look at our list of the best 2 player PS4 games?
What are the best kids games on the PS4?
The PS4 has plenty of child-friendly options, including FIFA, Minecraft, and the various Lego games. In terms of the big exclusives, Uncharted 4 is rated T by the ESRB, denoting appropriate for a teen audience, as is Horizon Zero Dawn. Gran Turismo Sport, the PS4’s flagship driving simulator, is rated E for everyone, but it may be a bit too technical for younger gamers. The hugely popular Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a great (but tough!) choice for younger players, and is only available on PS4 currently.
What types of PS4 are there?
There have been three versions of the PS4 launched so far. The original (now sometimes referred to as the ‘fat’ PS4) has been discontinued and is generally tricky to find new, although you may get a good deal on a refurbished or second hand unit.
The PS4 Slim comes in two different hard drive sizes - 500GB and 1TB - and is probably the one to get if you’re looking for a console for kids and the family. The PS4 Pro comes with a more powerful processor and higher price tag, but it may well be more power than you’ll need.
Click for a more detailed look at the differences between the three PS4 models.
How long has the system been out?
The original PS4 came out back in November 2013, with the Slim and the Pro both launching in late 2016.
When is the PS4 likely to be replaced?
It’s hard to say when the PS4 will be usurped by a PlayStation 5. The Slim and Pro models have both got plenty of legs, and the Pro in particular suggests that the days of launching new consoles just to achieve better graphics are behind us.
Instead, Sony will probably wait until they have a major update to the PS VR headset before launching the PS5. We expect we won’t see a PS4 replacement until at least late 2019 at the very earliest.
Who is the PS4 aimed at?
Unlike the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch, which both launched with very clear marketing messages about who their consoles were intended for, the PS4 was more of an all rounder. Though aimed at dedicated console gamers, with a slight emphasis on being able to provide more single player exclusives than the Xbox, there’s plenty about the PS4 that makes it a great console for kids and families alike.
How much will a basic setup cost?
The PS4 Slim is typically available for around £230 without a game in non-deal periods, a price that can drop to £200 with a game at peak times. The DualShock 4 controller that the PS4 uses typically retails for around £40. Games tend to retail for around £40-50, although a number of recent remastered games - including the popular Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy - have been priced at a very competitive £25.
What parental controls does it have?
All gaming manufacturers are now very conscientious when it comes to parental controls, so it’s no surprise that Sony give you plenty of options when it comes setting up parental controls. You can set monthly store spending limits, limit the age range of games that users are allowed to play and even the DVDs they can watch, as well as disabling the internet browser.
What can it do other than play games?
The PS4 comes with a huge range of downloadable apps to enhance your and your family’s experience using the console, including YouTube, Spotify, Netflix and more. The Slim model also comes with a DVD player built in, while the Pro has a 1080p Blu-ray player.
How important is the PS4’s online gaming mode?
The PS4 is slightly less dependent on online games than the Xbox One thanks to the single-player exclusives it has, including Horizon Zero Dawn and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. That being said, a lot of its big cross party games still lean heavily on online multiplayer modes which are often not the best place for particularly younger gamers.
Can players on a PS4 play against those with other consoles online?
In a word, no. While certain games enable Xbox One and Switch players to compete against one another, Sony currently have the largest market share. The fact that they can attract more gamers to the PlayStation purely so they can play with their friends is a huge bonus. Allowing their players to compete with players on the Xbox would put them in a less advantageous position. Because of this, it’s unlikely that PS4 players will ever be able to play with those on other consoles.