There’s a lot that can happen in seven years when we’re talking about tech. Have you ever had a phone for seven years? If you have, you’re in the minority, same with a laptop. However, if you invested in an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 at launch in 2013, it’s due its seventh birthday card. Dan Ackerman’s still on his original, launch edition PS4, he notes for cnet.

We’ve got the next generation of consoles landing this fall – the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, and there’s talk of a new version of the Nintendo Switch in the pipeline. We’re expecting price tags around the $4-600 mark and there’s probably going to be a limited production due to supply chain issues derived from coronavirus. Incentives to hold off being an early adopter are strong this time.

However, you won’t be getting an optical drive with the PS5 this time; it’s digital-only. Costs will be lower based on this, and the complexity will reduce with one less moving part. We’re anticipating a cheaper variation with this option on the Xbox Series X, too. Also, the Xbox Series X may be getting a less expensive Series S variant

We recently went through hacks and hints to get more lifespan from your laptop, here we’ve got some tips and tricks to keep your current console running like a dream. Consoles can be a challenge. They tend to be built as sealed boxes, they get really hot, and they’ll still have spinning hard disks and run on optical drives – standard points of failure. The first set of Xbox 360s that were made have a high lifetime failure rate, remember the Red Ring of Death? 

There have been plenty of iterations of the current consoles, such as the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but these tricks are mainly to extend the life of earlier hardware, which is where you’re likely to need the help.

Stay chill

How fast are your fans running? Could you be powering your TV with the breeze they produce? When you keep your console on a confined shelf neatly tucked under said TV, it’s no surprise. The CPUs and GPUs inside your gamer are the same standards as gaming PCs and they run hot. The tech they use is also seven years old, so they’ve not had the last few generations of performance and efficiency upgrades. Pick up your power brick for your Xbox One and think how far we’ve come. 

Getting too hot can be a death knell for home electronics. Check out our top tips for keeping things chill:  

  • Store your console outside of glass or wooden cabinets, and never run them whilst in one.
  • Stacking of devices like other consoles or cable boxes isn’t a great idea. 
  • Invest in a riser or get some feet 3D printed to raise the console off the surface to increase airflow. 
  • Get dust out of crevices using a can of compressed air, paying particular attention to the fan vents. 

Go sold

Each mechanical hard drive that gets made comes with an MTBF rating, which means the “mean time between failures”. For the old versions of these drives, the first failure doesn’t come with a respawn. Hard drives that spin, such as those in your Xbox or PS4, will die sooner or later. They run really slow in comparison to the up to date solid-state drives, too. Newer models, even the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, still ship with HDD drives, but the PS5 and Xbox Series X are finally going full SSD. 

Lucky for us gamers, getting a replacement or an upgrade of the storage in your device is an easy and effective way to boost what you’ve got.  

As well as being able to crack open your consoles, you can add external drives much easier, so you can increase and upgrade the storage that way, and there are no tools needed.  

Get seen 

Even back in 2013, optical drives in consoles seemed a bit outdated. Can you think of any other standard consumer electronic device that still has DVD and Blu-ray capabilities? Most laptops have eschewed the drives, you’d be hard-pressed to find one in a home entertainment system. The PS5 is going to be digital-only and you can already get a non-optical Xbox One S. 

Nearly all gamers function with digital downloads nowadays so you probably won’t notice much of a difference if your optical drive were to break. Unless your absolute favorite game is on a physical disc, you’d probably not even bother to replace the optical drive, and it’s more of a pain than changing the storage. You’ll need to source a new drive that’s supported by the PS4 motherboard. For an Xbox One, it’s a case of swapping the internal circuit board from another optical drive into the new one.  

Get updated

Got a problem? Do a reboot. That’s the universally accepted way to fix anything, according to your mom, tech support, and everyone in between. It works for gaming consoles as much as anything else. When hasn’t a freeze or software glitch been resolved by a moment of anger followed by a power down? Around 99% of the time, so we need to fix that one percent. 

We don’t promise all your ills will be fixed, but just like a restore to factory settings can be effective on a laptop, you can do the same on a console. 

Make sure all of your games and save points are on the cloud, then after your reset, it’s a simple case of redownloading everything. Lots of junk should be removed and things should see a speed increase. . 

Reset your Xbox One

If you come into trouble on your Xbox One, go for a hard reset first. This isn’t just putting the system to sleep and bringing it back to life again, known as low-power mode. For that action, you need to press and hold the power button down for ten seconds. 

Head into the settings menu and navigate to All settings > System > Console Info > Reset Console.You’ll find an option to keep hold of your apps and games that are installed so that the firmware just gets a reset. If you choose “reset and remove everything” you get a full wipe back to factory settings, just like the day you took it home. 

Reset your PS4

Things are pretty similar for your PS4. From the settings menu, go to PlayStation Network/Account Management > Activate as Your Primary PS4 > Change this option to Deactivate if it is active right now > Go back out to Settings > Initialization > Choose either Restore Default Settings, which keeps your game installs and saves, or Initialize PS4, which is the full wipe. 

You should also do these resets when you’re selling or giving your console to someone else. It’ll wipe all your account information so your payment details and log ins are all removed.