What to Do With Your Old Video Game Consoles

By Cecilia D'Anastasio on at

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 skip and move onto your new, 4k life. Here’s the thing, though: Old consoles aren’t like your Pablo Honey Radiohead t-shirt. There’s better stuff to do with them than let them rot in a pot.

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 quid 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 Music Magpie (the UK division of website 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 up to £100. 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. upsells your old tech for a profit.

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 an actual store, 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 Centre


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 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. Services like Simply Games will recycle old consoles, cables and controllers, and if you have a Nintendo console, Nintendo’s Take Back scheme will receive, fix up and sell old consoles while recycling old parts sustainably.

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.

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 hospital. Get Well Gamers is a charity organisation that gives hospitalised children gaming consoles, which supports thousands of young people a year.

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 her own.