• A parent's guide to PlayStation

    Hello there.
    As a mum of two, I know that parenting can often feel like an endless series of questions. Are they eating enough veg? Should they get more exercise? How can it take a human being that long to put on a pair of shoes?

    Then there's the issue of what our children do with their spare time. It's tempting to fill up the hours with swimming lessons, ballet, football and so on, and all those things are great. But kids need a bit of downtime too just like the rest of us. Of course, no one wants to see their child stuck in front of a screen all day. And it's important the games kids play are right for their age. But our children are growing up in a digital era, and video games are a great way to explore this new world.

    Basically, it's all about moderation. In the same way ice cream is great as an occasional treat, video games can form part of a healthy balanced diet of entertainment - along with all that good stuff like reading, playing outdoors, and making weird space rockets out of old egg boxes.

    Games have moved on a bit since we were kids, so this Parent's Guide is designed to explain how it all works. The good news is it's easier than ever to make sure your children are safe online, and enjoying the right kind of games for their age group. Plus, it's not just about better graphics - these days, games offer a much wider range of play experiences, with more emphasis on creativity and exploration. Most importantly, though, games are great fun. And they're not just for kids - they are a brilliant way to come together as a family, share experiences, and have a laugh. So why not give gaming a go?

    PlayStation Parent's guide by Ellie Gibson
  • PlayStation Value for Money

    Value for Money

    When it comes to working out the cost-per-hour of family entertainment, PlayStation offers fantastic value. The fact is, games consoles aren't cheap. But this isn't one of those toys that will be gathering dust on Boxing Day and in the bin by Easter. It's a purchase the whole family will get value from, over a period of years.

    There are loads of games available at different price points. And for £39.99 a year, you can get two titles every month as a PlayStation Plus member.

  • Parental Controls

    Make it easy to keep an eye on what your children are playing and who they're playing with. Video game companies want to keep your kids safe, just like you do. It's not in their interest to get complaints from parents, or scary headlines in the tabloids. So the PS4's parental control settings are designed to be as simple as possible to use

    Taking Control

    • Age ratings: You can set up the PS4 to play only games and movies that are rated below a certain age limit.
    • Internet access: You can tell the PS4 to block unsuitable websites - or you can disable the internet browser altogether.
    • Messaging: Disabling text and voice messages will prevent your kids from chatting to anyone online.
    • Money matters: Setting up a sub-account for your child means there's no need to worry about big bills, because you can set a monthly spending limit. Plus, your kids will only be able to download content that's suitable for their age group.
    PlayStation Parental Controls
  • PlayStation Skills and Creativity

    Skills & Creativity

    Learning how to play is an important part of growing up. Games can teach us about creating and competing, too. There's no point pretending that playing video games will make your child a genius. Let's be honest, it won't even help them with their times tables. But games can teach us about working as a team, and coping with losing. Many of them encourage kids to use their imaginations to create brand new worlds. Plus, they send the message that you can get better at something through effort and practice.


    Minecraft, Tearaway Unfolded, Dragon Quest Builders, Little Big Planet 3
  • Entertainment

    Whatever kind of entertainment you're into, PS4 has something to offer. Why should kids have all the fun? Once they're tucked up in bed, release the stresses of the day with a quick match on FIFA or some escapism with Uncharted. PS4 also has a wide selection of movie, music, and telly apps. And watch out for PlayStation VR, because who wouldn't want to be lost in a virtual world instead of surrounded by old nappies and half-eaten fish fingers?

    • Access loads of ace entertainment apps, including Spotify, Netflix, Sky, WWE Network and BBC iPlayer
    • Choose from millions of hours' worth of TV, film and music content
    • Create kids' accounts, so you can manage the kind of stuff they're watching
    • PS4's brilliant Suspend Resume feature lets you pause your game to watch TV, switching between them seamlessly
    • Pretend you live on the Starship Enterprise by issuing voice commands to search your library and launch games.
    PlayStation Entertainment
  • PlayStation Games to play together

    Games to play together

    Gaming is a great way to have fun as a family - whether you're competing against each other, working as a team, or just laughing at the grown-ups for being so rubbish.

    Thanks to Instagram, it's easy to feel like you're not a proper parent unless you're spending hours weaving dreamcatchers from foraged driftwood, or baking rainbow cakes that would make Mary Berry weep. But kids aren't always up for that - and let's be honest, neither are we. Playing video games is a great way to spend time together doing something they really enjoy.

    You might even have fun, too.

    Take your Pick

    From racing and football to dancing and LEGO dinosaurs, there are loads of games that are perfect for playing together in the living room. Many allow up to four people to join in, playing either co-operatively or against each other. If you can't get together in person, there are plenty of games that allow you to play and chat online. Parental controls keep things nice and safe.