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Getting my boyfriend a PS5 for the holidays — how do I keep it a surprise? (and some more questions for gamer guys)

My boyfriend loves gaming and is an ardent Playstation fan. I preordered him a PS5 for Christmas, but haven’t told him. I don’t think he’s bought one for himself (yet). He just got a new gaming PC build, and it’s the kind of thing he would tell me about.

1) How do I keep him from buying one between now and the holidays without telling him straight up I bought him a PS5?

2) Dudes — would you rather have a new console given to you in the box, or all set-up and ready to play with on Christmas morning?

3) I know that some retailers, like Best Buy, let you do console trade-ins. I looked into it and my bf’s PS4 would get about $90. Is it worth trading in his PS4 vs selling it / handing it down? I have no idea how I would get his PS4 away from him to secretly trade it in.

4) I got him the version that takes game discs, not just digital games. Will his old games work with the new console?

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5) Is there anything else I should think about / consider to make this a nice gift? Concerning consoles/gaming?? I only game on Steam or my Switch, so I don’t know a lot about consoles.

EDIT: thank you for all the responses!! We’ve both had a really hard year and I just want to end the year with something that’ll make him really happy. Will post an update when I give it to him, and a reaction pic if I can get one 🙂

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35 Comments

  1. 1. Tell him to wait until after Christmas, when PS5 prices will drop.
    2. In the box. Unpacking is part of the fun.
    3. Do not trade in the PS4. It contains his saved games and personal data.
    4. Don’t know, sry.
    5. Nothing to add. A PS5 is a big gift.

  2. First of all, adorable.

    1. It’s hard, if he’s dead set on buying one and brings it up, short of telling him or hoping that nowhere is currently accepting preorders, it’ll be hard to justify him not buying one.

    2. 100% rather have it in the box, something about unboxing new stuff is just dope.

    3. Keep your PS4, I’ll be more than likely putting mine in the front room as a glorified Blu-Ray player/Netflix.

    4. Some games will be backwards compatible, i think there’s a list somewhere on the net but, don’t quote me on that.

    5. Peripherals are always nice, nice headset or something like that, some games will be announced for PS5 that might be available when you pick yours up, just try keep an ear out for games he talks about, games he’s excited for.

  3. First of all, this is such an awesome gift. Very thoughtful gift.

    1. Unless he preordered one he cannot buy one in store, though he could go get one from a scalper

    2. Let him unbox it, unbox it and setting it up are one of the thrills of getting new tech.

    3. Let him decide if he wants to keep his console

    4. The disc version is definitely the best version in my opinion to get. It should play99% of games, and upgrade some newer games for free (better graphics)

    5. Get a second controller and join in on the fun?

    Hope that helps. Obviously others may have other opinions

  4. 1. My grandma has a line she says whenever anyone mentioned buying things after October: “I’d be careful this close to Christmas”
    2. This is a personal preference. I’d rather set it up myself, some guys like it preset for them.
    3. I’d let him get rid of his PS4 the way he wants. Can probably get more than $90 by selling to someone else on Kijiji or something. I’d also not get rid of the ps4 until you give him the ps5, so no need for secrecy.
    4. They should be backward compatible.
    5. Do you have a second controller so you can play with him? Other than that, you’ve already bought him a ps5, that’s a nice enough gift as it is.

  5. For the love of god whatever you do, DO NOT trade in his PS4 without his explicit OK. Many people ascribe more sentimental value to consoles than their dollar value. He might be very attached to his PS4 even though it might not get much use once he has his PS5.

    Also, you’re a good GF.

  6. 1. Buy him a game or a couple games that he doesn’t have that will hold his attention and make him put off getting a PS5 long enough. Tell him it’s not quite worth it right now because many PS5 release games are still being released on PS4.

    2. In the box, hands down. Let him do all the setup. Personally for me, it’s because I know my PSN is the only one that has been signed in to the console and everything has been customized the way I want it.

    3.DO NOT SELL OR TRADE HIS CONSOLE IN. My biggest regret in life is that I didn’t keep all my old consoles.

    4. PS4 games will work with the new console.

    5. An extra controller is always handy, but not necessary. Honestly there isn’t much he’ll need. Idk how long the charging cable is that comes with the PS5 so maybe a longer charging cable if he sits far from the console would be my only suggestion. You could always give him a gift card to buy what he wants for the PS5 from any retailer. Or a PSN gift card to get games for it on the playstation store.

  7. Epic gift. Best I’ve seen so far.
    1. That’ll be hard. Just ask him if he is (don’t tell him not to), and if he is ask him when he’s placing an order.
    2. In the box. I like to set my own stuff up.
    3. Don’t do anything with his PS4.
    4. Some will some won’t depends on the game. Nothing you can do about this.
    5. PS5 is expensive enough as is, maybe a good game (if you have none already) so he can use it straight away.

    You rock

  8. You could unbox it and download all the updates and then re-box it. That way it’s quicker to set up.

    If it comes to it though, you might have to tell him that your buying one. It might ruin the surprise for Christmas but he will be more than overjoyed at the thought. If you do it this way, you can discuss each of your other points with him.

  9. 1- first of all it’s really hard to buy it right now so you’re lucky to get one. Just straight up ask him if or when he is getting ps5 and if he is getting it then tell him not to bother looking since there’s no supply right now.

    2- in the box is always good, he will have experience of unboxing it.

    3- keep PS4, 90 bucks is too less of a value to sell it. Besides you can use PS4 for other things like YouTube, Netflix etc

    4- games are completely dependent of developers right now and most people don’t know which games are going to be backward compatible. However, upcoming games gives you option of backward compatibility

    5- you can buy additional controller and join in, scuf controller if he’s competitive player, I also heard ps5 hard disk is only 900GB so would be nice to have some additional storage.
    & Good luck.

  10. A good way to keep him from buying one himself would be to “remind” him not to pick one up for a few months- new generation consoles often come with bugs and other problems that will need some time to fix as they work issues out. Maybe it’ll be a problem with the consoles themselves, or a problem with the way the online services function… Whatever it is, there’ll be something. “Wait until after those problems seem to be fixed.”

    Nextly, don’t jack his current console. Legally speaking, that’s just theft- whether or not you trade it in or down sale it- but the real damage will be the loss of his file data and information. The time he’s poured into this console and those games can’t be bought back.

    Thirdly, how you present a gift is as important as the gift itself. There is no “best” way to do it, but gift giving is about the receiver, not the giver. Present it in whatever way you think he’ll prefer to recieve it.

    This is a tough question- SONY hasn’t exactly been talkative about what exactly the new console will be capable of. Another reason not to trade the PS4 in- at least, not yet.

    Last thing. The vast majority of consoles come “bundled”, especially around the holidays. These bundles often include extra controllers, digital copies of games, and special paintjobs on the console and controllers- and sometimes other goodies, such as art books for games, posters, and rarely, even collectible minifigs. Keep a look out for these- while often expensive, they sell out quickly, and rarely come up a second time. It’s hard to tell if SONY will bundle any consoles this year- hard to tell much of anything, but I should think they will.

  11. 1 you can do your best but it might happen the important thing is to keep the receipt
    2 due to 1 I would want it boxed still just in case. It’s not hard to set them up and us often the only way to learn some features properly.
    3 keep it for the time being if possible to keep suspicion to a minimum and maybe he has a better method of getting his money’s worth/ keep it for games that don’t end up being compatible.
    4 I believe most games are supposed to work with backwards compatibility but I haven’t ready up on that aspect so just double check online for that model etc.
    5 don’t hint at it at all ,guys can guess all too well, my parents tried with a PS2, wii, gameboy, and a DS and the moment they hinted a type of game or some vague feature I ruined it for everyone. He might hide it to be nice. But to really surprise him just keep it a secret, have a plan to return if needed. This is a great gift and I hope he recovers it well!!

  12. 1. if he brings up the notion of buying one “You should wait beyond the first shipment cycle as there are always defects and bugs when it comes to launching a brand new console.”
    2. in the box, part of the fun for me is setting it up and hooking it up
    3. Don’t sell, you’ll get fraction of the value and the sentimental value of having an old console is a lot for a guy, I still got my NES and SNES
    4. good job, but no I don’t believe it will. You never know though, so it’s good you got that one.
    5. Get Demon’s Souls and that should keep him busy for a while and it’s not on PC
    6. God I’m lonely. I wish I had a cool gf like you who did nice things like this.

  13. Damn your boyfriend’s lucky to have you.

    I ain’t no expert but here’s some things that could help you out:

    -In theory the Ps5 is backwards compatible (should search it up tho) so the disk games he has should work on the Ps5 and I think that if he logs in with PSN also the digital games.

    -Personally I’d prefer it in a box, adds to the anticipation and surprise.

    -To keep it secret and make sure he doesn’t buy one maybe I’d contact some of his friends/family to ask him what he’s planning to get for Christmas and to dissuade him if he wants to get a PS5, so that he doesn’t suspect you. I don’t know what your relationship with his buddies is tho.

    -Don’t trade in his Ps4, it’s worth a lot more than 90 dollars if you count emotional value and useful data, at least hear what he wants to do.

    -No need to buy anything else, a Ps5 is a huge gift most of us would only dream of getting it from our GF.

  14. 1. It’s really difficult if he’s got the money to spend. If you can convince him it’ll be better to wait for a price drop, then he might just buy it on Cyber Monday. You should lean into the fact that he just bought a PC and doesn’t need one. But if you push too hard, then he’ll probably guess.

    2. Having it be completely set up and ready to go would be pretty awesome. Harder to hide, but if the console is already set up, connected to the internet, and my favorite games are already downloaded, that would be amazing.

    3. I personally prefer to keep all my old consoles. Some games play on both, some don’t. I still occasionally play my Xbox 360.

    4. See above. But I think most newer games will.

    5. If you like to game too at all, make sure you get a second controller and get a game you guys can enjoy playing together. I know I love playing Sea of Thieves, Call of Duty, and Dead by Daylight with my gf online, but there’s something about playing old school splitscreen thats really fun and nostalgic.

  15. If you hear of it prior to christmas; You’ll tell him you wanted to get him one and that you found out that old friend/family relative works at a retailer and they will be getting a discount 30% or so on ps5 in January, and that he should wait to get one, as it will be more economical. This way it can still be a surprise.

    You should also send him a link to a few sweaters and ask him if he likes them to mislead him

  16. 1. Just tell him you should wait till black friday or the sales. because that is when ps5 are cheaper and they can come with a game or two or something like that.
    2. Given in a box. in a box is best because having the feeling of opening the box and holding the console is the best feeling a man could ever get.
    3. No dont trade it in, because there could be some important games in it maybe idk for sure?
    4. Um maybe you should pitch in for an extra controller if you wanna play with him. maybe a game or two?

  17. 1. Tell him its not worth the time/stress to stalk retailer pages. Preorders have been out of stock for weeks. Assuming any retailer did post stock again, they’d be gone in a minute, literally. The goal is you want to talk him out of getting one without removing his hype for one by saying “no launch games” etc.
    2. In box. Definitely in box. I would be irritated if someone set everything up for me, because I want the satisfaction of opening it, setting it up how I want, etc.
    3. Don’t trade consoles in. There are probably still PS4 games that he enjoys now or would enjoy again later that you cannot play on PS5. IIRC, PS5 only has backward compatibility on select games.
    4. See the latter part of my #3 answer, only select games are backward compatible, if I recall correctly.
    5. Assuming you want to gift him more than the console, consider a headset or the controller charge station. If I was him, I would ask for the gift of your hand in marriage too.

  18. Same way you keep any other gift a surprise,

    1.Tell him that you have a holiday for him and that he’ll love, hint at what it is but don’t directly tell him, he’ll get even more excited especially with the suspense, and is less likely to go out and buy one himself

    2. KEEP IT IN THE BOX, opening up a new console directly from the box is something special for every gamer, it’s like we create a closer connection to it, plus I mean if he bought you some brand new pair of shoes would you want it out of the box and ready for you to use?? Same goes for a watch or any other object that comes in a box, it’s better for the it’s for to open it themselves,

    3. Dont do anything with the PS4 don’t even touch it even after you get him a PS5 and even after he’s already using the PS5 don’t do anything with his PS4 until he’s ready to get rid of it, Don’t ever trade in a console, either just sell it online or hand it over to someone else

    4. Either version is fine, but while you can get every game through the PS store that’s in the console and download it, it’s always good to have a second option imo

    5. The next best thing(s) to do is to buy him a game or two, and/or a designed controller or just an extra one

  19. 1. just… don’t wrap it and put it in a place he’ll never look. as other people said, tell him to wait until after holiday szn for prices to drop. also, tell him things like ‘that’s a big purchase’ and make him feel like it might be a *mistake* to buy it. or take his mind off of it.
    2. in the box, 100%
    3. don’t trade it in. maybe sell it after he gets the ps5 set up, but idk.
    4. i don’t do playstation, this is just general knowledge. on xbox, ik it will, and i think sony is backwards-compatable, but i rly don’t know 100%
    5. not off the top of my head…

  20. 1- hope he doesnt buy one

    2- ready to play would be awesome, but just getting it would make the year

    3- to be honest, I think you should keep the ps4 for him to decide what to do. Since Ps5 is really new, most ppl will still play it includimg his friends. He might wamt to play with them from time to time

    4- idk

    5- dont forget the controller (or controllers if he plays with you, a friend or anyone)

    But srsly, thats an awesome gift, he is very lucky to have a gf that cares about him like this

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