I’m not so much angry this Monday as I am vexed. I honestly don’t know what to do with my PlayStation 3 and I imagine this is a decision many new PlayStation 4 owners are facing today. Many of us face an incredible backlog of PS3 games that we keep promising ourselves we’ll come back and finish one day. After all, who would want all that money we’ve spent to go to waste? All the while, we are busy playing the latest and greatest hits on that shiny new next-gen system. The whole time we are playing Killzone: Shadow Fall or Knack or one of the other excellent PS4 launch titles, we keep whispering that lie in the back of our heads that we will “Go back and finish that game just as soon as I finish this one.” Of course, we likely never will. Our PS3s will continue to sit on our shelves, gathering dust.
So then what should we do with our systems? A economist may argue that we should consider the money we’ve put into the PS3 and its games a sunk cost; that we should consider that money gone and not let it affect the decision in front of us. He/she would argue that we should take the option that most benefits us now. In other words, maybe we should just cut our losses and get what we can for the system. While I realize this is the best route ultimately, the idea just rings hollow and it probably does for a lot of people. While we understand in our mind that we SHOULD get rid of the old, we just seem can’t understand it in our hearts.
Selling isn’t always a great option because you have to deal with finding a buyer, meeting them, negotiating, and a myriad of other stressful tasks. If you sell online, there is always the risk of being stiffed out of cash. So, let’s consider trading it in to a retail store. Actually, let’s not — right now, GameStop is offering a maximum of $100 for a late model PS3. That’s all. Everything we put into the system and the most we get is $100? Wait, there’s that idea of sunk cost again. However, there is also the thought that GS is just going to take that system and sell it for a big profit. We should just sell it! Stop, that’s a bad idea because of the negotiating and the finding a buyer… It is a vicious circle that leads to a lot of unneeded stress and guilt.
Ultimately, transitioning to a new console is bittersweet. While the new systems are ever-so-exciting, it is kind of sad to say goodbye to all the fun we’ve had over the last seven years. No matter how much we lie to ourselves and say otherwise, we probably aren’t going to go back. Those games we put off playing will continue to be put off as more and more titles are released for the PS4. So, with a much clearer head but a heavy heart, I suggest a third option. If you know a family member in need this holiday season, donate the system to them. Find someone who will give those games we purchased the love and time they deserve. This is the holiday season after all, so maybe instead of worrying about the frustrations and anger caused by attempting to sell or trade in the systems we have loved, maybe we should just let them go and give them to someone that will love them as much as we did.
Whether you do wind up selling it, trading it in, or giving it to someone in need, let your PS3 be more than the dusty appliance lying in the corner. It deserves more than that. Plus, you’ll feel less vexed and angry when it’s gone.