What To Do With Your Old Video Game Consoles

Hooray — you got an Xbox One X for Christmas. And instead of dwelling on the sentimental value of the 2013-minted Xbox One you've shared so many memories with, you're ready to toss it in a landfill and move onto your new, 4k life. Here's the thing, though: Old consoles aren't like your Pablo Honey Radiohead t-shirt from 7th grade. There's better stuff to do with them than let them rot in a pot. Lead image via StockSnap

As long as they work, old consoles are good for something. That something could be scrap parts, hard cash, charity or a few other creative uses. Here are our recommendations on what to do with old consoles:

1. Sell It

Obviously, this is what a lot of you are here for. "How can I make a million bucks off my PS2?". Well, you can't. You can make some money. Maybe enough for another game or two for your new Nintendo Switch.

There are dozens of business that buy old consoles in varying states of disrepair, or will hook you up with someone who will. On Decluttr, a website that purchases used game consoles, games, books, phones and the like, a used Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or Wii U in good condition can earn you between $US100 ($129) and $US150 ($194). (Some reviews say that Decluttr has revised prices after the seller sends their consoles.) Where do your old consoles go, you ask? On eBay, Amazon and other sites along those lines, according to a 2014 Fast Company profile of the company. Decluttr upsells your old tech for a profit. (Right now, they're selling used Xbox Ones for about $US160 ($207)).

According to research, other sites aren't offering as much. Do your research. It's very, very easy to get ripped off selling an old console. You can also independently list your consoles on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist or any of these sites for maximum value. It's just more work.

If you're open to hauling your console to a brick and mortar store, maybe don't take it to EB Games. A look at their trade-in prices indicate that, for the most part, they're not offering good deals and might upsell your console for as much as twice what you got for it. There are still lots of local, independent brick-and-mortar stores that will buy your consoles, fix them up and sell them. Their prices vary wildly, but in a lot of cases, it's possible to bargain with the buyers.

Before you sell your console, wipe down its exterior and blow compressed air into its insides.

2. Make It A Media Center


If you have two televisions, or even two monitors, your old console (unless it's, like, a Nintendo GameCube) can moonlight as a DVD player. Sure, most consoles won't accommodate Blu Ray — but you can still rewatch your first edition Cowboy Bebop box set to your heart's content.

Several generations of consoles have Netflix, Stan or other video apps, too. If you want a good alternative to cable, an old console can be your gateway — so long as you don't mind all the bells and whistles surrounding the apps.

3. Give It To Your Favourite Kid

Kids aren't that picky. All they really want is to be entertained. If your PS3 works, there's a good chance little Timmy down the street would kill to finally get what all the hype around Grand Theft Auto V is about. And if it doesn't work, you might be offering him the chance to pick up a new hobby.

4. Recycle It

Do not. Throw your old console. In the trash. Old consoles are full of toxic things. As the console decomposes in a landfill or something, toxic materials leak out and make their way into the water and dirt. That can really muck up plant and animal environments, both on land and in the sea.

Do the earth a favour and find a recycling service. Look into whether your local council has an e-waste recycling program — they may be held intermittently, every few months or so.

You can also check out RecyclingNearYou for other options that (surprisingly) are near you.

5. Repurpose Its Parts

via Reddit

There are guides for installing computers inside original Xboxes or turning your N64 into a Nintendo Switch dock. There are guides for turning controllers into night lights, repurposing NES cases into lunchboxes, turning a SNES gamepad into a USB controller or making an NES cartridge a wireless router, many of which conveniently live on our sister site Lifehacker.

6. Donate It

All of the happiness your PlayStation 3 inspired in you could be double for a kid who is bored as hell in a hospital. The thrill you got opening up a Wii U for Christmas in 2012 might pale in comparison to how damn good it feels for a kid who's never had a console of their own and had to go to their girlfriend's place down the street. There are lots of services that can facilitate this sort of generosity.

Child's Play works with a number of children's hospitals in Australia, or you could get in touch with the hospitals directly if you have consoles and games in good working order. You could also offer it to a local Headspace centre.


    I got an Xbox One from a friend really cheap cause he wanted the Xbox One S (when they were getting released).
    I use it almost purely for Stan, Netflix and Bluray

    7. Keep it. I can get behind selling/donating an "upgraded" system such as PS4 > PS4 Pro, but I could never part with an old console like my N64 or SNES.

      Get rid of my N64?!

      But I still have Golden Eye, Westlemania 2000 and the golden Ocharina of Time cartridges!!!

        I have Orcarina, Majoras Mask, Goldeneye, Turok, Starcraft, have a big crate of all the hit games, When me & my sister shared an apartment, It was always fun to play Mario golf or Four player splitscreen mario cart with friends after a night of drinking, Goodtimes & good memories.

        The N64 is absolute classic especially goldeneye, wrestle mania 2000 and no mercy. It's a shame they don't make those quality in depth games anymore. Sure in retrospect the graphics are crap compared to today's consoles but man n64 was a pioneer in video gaming

    I've never gotten to of any of my consoles.

    My Xbox became a music centre due to the cd ripping feature it had.
    My Wii gets passed around the family and friends as their kids got old enough to play (More use than any console, well over its lifetime)
    PS4 got moved upstairs for the GF to use and play (she got me a pro)
    My old Ninty systems, various hand helds and early PS's did get put in to storage this year though, wasn't doing them justice without a massive display TV cabinet thing.
    (I will make it though)

    7. Mod It - almost all old consoles are easily moddable, be it via softmods or flash carts etc.
    The opportunities are endless - i still have and use an original xbox due to the capabilities of the mod scene. Great for emulators and playing old titles that arent backwards compatible.

    KEEP IT. guaranteed in like 3 years you'll be like "oh I wish I could play....."

    That 64 repurposed for a switch dock is blasphemy!

      I agree, It's like the idiots who restore game cartridges by removing the original art & placing their own.

    I don't regret selling my ps2, i bought it at the end of the generation just to play the big titles. Plus I hadn't owned a console since the SNES days so it was cool to go back to them.

    But i will NEVER sell my PS3. So many good times. So many great games. It's downstairs being used as a netflix device mainly now, but my son still plays wipeout on it occasionally.

    I'm just about to sort through my old console collection and I don't know what to do. I have an NES, SNES (somewhere), gba, DS lite, GameCube and Wii. So hard to part with them, but I know I'll never use them again. Thinking about selling to a good home.

      Argh edit hell.

      Last edited 29/12/17 5:32 pm

      Got anything good? <.<

        Depends on your definition of good. I have a decent amount of games for the Gamecube, and a handful for the 64 and Wii, but limited for the handhelds. My SNES is missing in action, I think it's still at my mums house.

    Take it from someone who sold his pristine SNES back in 1996 to fund a guitar purchase which led to absolutely nothing - never sell your old consoles.

    give it to a children's hospital, they have a lot of toys for younger kids, but there are teenagers in there too with no interest in the stuffed toys that are usually donated

    I like point 2 the best. Watch Cowboy Bebop.
    I always give my consoles way to kids when I replace them. I do miss them, but much better to let someone else play, rather than collect dust. Shame I gave my DS away with the R4 card though......

    7. Keep it (and possibly mod it)
    I’ve just gone through a time where I wanted to play a bunch of old PSX & PS2 era games. Instead of just downloading the games and playing them on an emulator, I bought the consoles at a good price from my local Savers store and modded them to play the burnt discs. This way I can relive the games as they were meant to be played. You never know when you’re going to want to relive the old days or play something that never got a modern port or something like that.

    If it still works, or is broken and easily repaired, anyone who does #5 should be tied to a frame and flogged with a set of Denon cables =P

    I sell all my old consoles as I hate the clutter. Sure, I have good memories of a lot of the games, but there are so many new games coming out and so little time that I'd likely never go back to them anyway. I swear I still haven't even installed half my Steam list and probably never will.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now