There may be two new PS5 consoles on the way, but you only have one amount of money in your bank account. If you’re looking to move on to the next generation of games with Sony, should you go for the standard PlayStation 5 or save a few notes with the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition?
It’s a difficult, almost philosophical, decision – one that takes into account arguments about ownership of your entertainment media, not to mention what you can realistically afford when we look at an unprecedented international financial crisis.
Don’t fret! We’ve kept an eye on all the announcements regarding Sony’s new equipment and we’ve got all the details you need to make the right choice for you ̵
PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition pricing and release dates
First, let’s get the hardcore numbers out of the way. How much will that hurt your wallet?
If you go for the standard PS5 that still shoots shiny Blu-ray discs for breakfast, it’ll cost $ 499.99 / £ 449.99 / AU $ 749.95.
The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (with the same specs except removing the drive) costs $ 399.99 / £ 359.99 / AU $ 599.95.
Both versions of the console will be released in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea on November 12th. If you live elsewhere (including the UK and Ireland) you have an extra week to wait. The rest of the world will have access to the PS5 on November 19th. Select retailers will be accepting pre-orders starting September 17th.
If you choose the all-digital route, you can see a significant $ 100 / $ 90 savings. However, there are a few things to keep in mind here.
First, you lose on the console that doubles as a 4K Blu-ray disc player. Given that stand-alone 4K Blu-ray players cost several hundred dollars and / or pounds in their own right, this is a sizable chunk of the money saved for the avid high definition movie fan.
Second, those with a drive can take advantage of the ability to trade, borrow, borrow, and trade physical disc-based games with their friends, and to trade deals. Over the life of a console, this can result in significant second-hand savings. What you can save now with the digital console can cost you over the course of a few years because you pay the prices that Sony and game manufacturers set. That is before considering the actual joy of owning a physical thing.
PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Specifications
You can find the full official PS5 specs direct from Sony, including the differences for both editions, if noted, here. The two PS5 models will be identical in performance, a big difference from the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, which are much further apart in price. The only difference is that the more expensive PS5 console has an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive. Otherwise, the same custom processor and SSD will be used.
CENTRAL PROCESSOR: x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 2, 8 cores / 16 threads, variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz
GPU: AMD Radeon ™ RDNA 2-based graphics engine, ray tracing acceleration, variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS)
System memory: GDDR6 16 GB / 448 GB / s bandwidth
Optical drive (base unit only): Ultra HD Blu-ray (66G / 100G) ~ 10xCAVBD-ROM (25G / 50G) ~ 8xCAVBD-R / RE (25G / 50G) ~ 8xCAVDVD ~ 3.2xCLV
SSD: 825 GB, 5.5 GB / s read bandwidth (raw)
PS5 Game Disc: Ultra HD Blu-ray, up to 100 GB / disc
Video from: HDMI OUT port, support 4K 120Hz TVs, 8K TVs, VRR (specified by HDMI version 2.1)
Audio: Tempest 3D AudioTech
Dimensions: PS5: Approx. 390 mm x 104 mm x 260 mm (width x height x depth) (without largest projection, without base)
PS5 Digital Edition: Approx. 390 mm x 92 mm x 260 mm (width x height x depth) (without largest projection, without base)
Weight: PS5: 4.5 kg
PS5 Digital Edition: 3.9 kg
Power: PS5: 350W
PS5 Digital Edition: 340W
Input-output: USB type A port (Hi-Speed USB) USB type A port (Super-Speed USB 10 Gbit / s) x2, USB Type C port (Super-Speed USB 10 Gbit / s)
Networking: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / axBluetooth 5.1
As mentioned earlier, the solid-state drive included in both consoles is identical, offering users 825 GB of storage with a raw throughput of 5.5 GB / s (and compressed data worth up to 9 GB / s). However, there is a small difference in weight and dimensions between the PS5 and its Digital Edition.
So in terms of the PlayStation 5 specs minus the drive, everything is the same in the important areas. The PS5 runs with the third generation AMD Ryzen chipset with 8 cores and the manufacturer’s new Zen 2 architecture and navigation graphics. On the visual side, the GPU has 36 processing units with 2.23 GHz and 10.28 TFLOPs, while the PS5 offers 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM with a bandwidth of 448 GB / s. This console can pull off Ray tracing – that is, advanced lighting, which used to be the only domain of expensive PC graphics cards. Expect fancy reflections in the games you love as a result of this addition.
3D audio is an important part of the PS5 offering, regardless of which edition of the console you own – immersive 3D audio is powered by Tempest Engine, which can translate sound sources by the hundreds to create realistic audio.
The PS5 supports up to 8K resolution, which many gamers don’t need on their 1080p TVs. Whether games will run natively in 8K is more of a question mark, but it does mean the console is future proof if you opt for a nicer TV. In addition, the PS5 supports refresh rates of 120 Hz, so you can enjoy smoother games when they offer a higher frame rate.
Most games are unlikely to exhaust these opportunities in the short term – Spider-Man: Miles Morales, in fact offers a 4K 60fps performance modeThis will likely call back visual effects to get a higher frame rate than the PS4’s usual 30 fps.
Both consoles will contain a single wireless PS5 DualSense controller that offers adaptive triggers and haptic feedback to increase the feeling of realism in your games.
Both consoles can play PS4 games, and you can buy an external hard drive for additional storage to play those older titles, saving you the SSD space for PS5 software.
PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition Games: They will be the same
Fortunately, this is the easy piece. Aside from the fact that one plays games from discs and the other plays exclusively from the console’s storage system, the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition play the exact same PS5 games in the exact same way.
With identical internal specs, you can enjoy 4K games at fast frame rates on both the PS5 and its digital-only counterpart and don’t expect any difference in gameplay between the two.
Sony has already put together some great exclusive titles for both machines, including Horizon: Forbidden West, God of War: Ragnarok, Final Fantasy 16, the remake “Demon’s Souls” and Spider-Man, improved by Miles Morales for PS5. Before considering third-party titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and Resident Evil 8: Village.
Backward compatibility is where things get a bit gloomy. Yes, the console’s digital output will play PS4 titles – but obviously it won’t play your existing, disc-based collection.
Instead, you will likely have to buy them digitally again. However, with the introduction of the PlayStation Plus Collection benefit to PS Plus subscribers, Sony is taking this fact off a bit. Going forward, the cost of subscribing PS5 owners will also include access to free downloads of 18 top PS4 games, including God of War, Uncharted 4, and Bloodborne. It’s a nice perk and an instant PS5 library of games for newbies to the console family. But it doesn’t matter much to cover the hundreds of PS4 titles on discs for PS5 Digital Edition owners.
Financial matters are tough calling out – if you’re an avid gamer who doesn’t have the cash to make the big jump into top-tier PS5s, this digital console should definitely be your choice. Next-gen games are sure to be a delight on this entry-level model too, and it’s great that the performance remains the same in both areas.
However, we still have a feeling that if you can afford it, if you can afford it, go for the standard disc-based PS5 console. You have the option to access the joys of 4K Blu-ray playback (they honestly look better than 4K Netflix streams!), Not to mention the potential money you might have trading with over the years Disc-based games with your device will save friends and money in exchange offices.
One final thing that also needs to be considered is the gray area that is digital property – be it that of music, movies, or games. While we haven’t seen the fine print on the PS5 in this regard, it’s common for you when it comes to digital media actually don’t have a permanent title. Should Sony decide in 2035 or some other distant date to turn off the PS5’s digital storefront distribution. Then where will you re-download your games from?
Yes, the online elements of modern games mean that patches appear frequently and at times may be required before a game even works. However, if Sony’s servers are ever taken out of service due to unforeseen circumstances, having an all-digital game collection versus a physical one won’t be quite as comforting.
And in the rare event that your discs ever stop working, at least you have a nice box art case to remember …