With two new PS5 consoles to choose from, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Sony's next-generation black and white machines were exactly the same. There are two clear differences though: price and the lack of a disc drive on the PS5 Digital Edition.

If you're looking to jump into the next generation of gaming with Sony, should you go for the standard PlayStation 5 or keep some notes with the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition?

The PS5 remains a fashionable property as demand far outstrips supply. We are investigating where to buy a PS5 to help you locate Sony's next-gen system when retailers are restocking.

It's a tough, almost philosophical decision that takes into account arguments about your entertainment media ownership, not to mention what you can reasonably afford to spend as we live in an unprecedented global financial downturn.

Don't worry though, we've got all the details you need to make the right choice for you and your wallet. Next, we compare the PS5 to the PS5 Digital Edition in all areas, from the price to the specifications.

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition - Price and Release Dates

Let's start by eliminating the hard-core numbers. How much do the two systems cost?

If you go for the standard PS5, the one that still eats brilliant Blu-ray discs for breakfast, it'll set you back €499.99 / €449.99 / AU$749.95.

The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (with identical specs apart from the disc drive removal) costs €399.99 / €359.99 / €599.95AU.

Both versions of the console are available worldwide and the PS5 will launch on November 12 in select territories and on November 19 for the rest of the world.

There's a significant saving of €100/€90 if you go the all-digital route, but there are a few things to consider here.

First off, you'll lose the console that converts to a 4K Blu-ray Disc player which is an added bonus for home theater fans. Considering standalone 4K Blu-ray players cost several hundred dollars and/or pounds, that's quite a savings.

Second, those who own a record player will be able to take advantage of the ability to trade, lend, borrow, and trade physical record sets with their friends and commercial stores. Over the life of a console, this could translate into significant second-hand savings. So what you can save now with the digital console may cost you a few years, because you'll be paying whatever prices Sony and the game's publishers decide to set. This is before considering the true joy of owning something physical.

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition

(Image credit: Kayane)

 

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: specifications

Here are the Full official PS5 specs straight from Sony, including differences for the two editions where noted. The two PS5 models are identical in terms of 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 will have an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive; otherwise it uses the same custom processor and has the same 825GB SSD.

CPU: 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: 6GB/16GB/s GDDR448 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 100GB / disc

Video output: HDMI OUT port, compatible with 4K 120Hz TVs, 8K TVs, VRR (specified by HDMI ver.2.1).

Audio: Tempest 3D AudioTech.

Dimensions: PS5: approx. 390mm x 104mm x 260mm (width x height x depth) (excludes largest projection, excludes base).

PS5 Digital Edition: Approx. 390mm x 92mm x 260mm (width x height x depth) (excludes largest projection, excludes base).

Weight: PS5: 4,5kg.

PS5 Digital Edition: 3,9 kg

Power: PS5: 350W

PS5 Digital Edition: 340W

Input/Output: USB Type-A (High Speed ​​USB) port USB Type-A (Super Speed ​​USB 10Gbps) port x2, USB Type-C (Super Speed ​​USB 10Gbps) port.

Network: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.1.

As mentioned, the SSD included with both consoles is the same, giving users 825GB of storage with 5.5GB / s raw throughput (and up to 9GB / s of compressed data). However, you only get 667,2GB of usable storage, so space is at a premium. There is a slight difference in weight and dimensions between the PS5 and its digital edition, but other than that, they are the same.

The PS5 is powered by the third-generation AMD Ryzen chipset with eight cores and the manufacturer's new Zen 2 architecture and Navi graphics. Visually, the GPU has 36 compute units running at 2.23GHz and offering 10.28 TFLOPs, while the PS5 packs 16GB of GDDR6 RAM with 448GB/s of bandwidth. The console can do ray tracing, i.e. advanced lighting that was once the only area of ​​expensive PC graphics cards. Expect some whimsical highlights in the games you love as a result of this addition.

3D audio is also a big part of the PS5 offering, no matter what console edition you own - immersive 3D audio is powered by the Tempest Engine, which translates sound sources by the hundreds to create realistic sound.

The PS5 can support up to 8K resolution (but not until a firmware update arrives), which many gamers won't need on their 1080p TVs. Whether games will run natively in 8K is more of a question mark (we're assuming only lower-graphics titles will), but it means the console stands the test of time. decides to buy a better TV in the future. Additionally, the PS5 supports 120Hz refresh rates, allowing you to enjoy smoother gaming by offering higher frame rates if you have an HDMI 2.1 compatible TV.

Most games don't maximize these possibilities in the short term, in fact Spider-Man: Miles Morales offers a 60fps performance mode, which reverses visual effects to achieve a higher frame rate than the usual 30fps. from the PS4.

Both consoles include a single PS5 DualSense wireless controller, which includes adaptive triggers and haptic feedback that helps elevate the sense of realism in your games.

Both consoles can also play PS4 games (although not all physical copies you own will work on the digital edition of PS5), and you can purchase an external hard drive for additional storage to play those older titles. SSD space. for PS5 software. However, you still cannot store or play PS5 games from external hard drives or SSDs.

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(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

 

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition games: they'll be the same

Fortunately, this is the easy part. Aside from the fact that one will play games from discs and the other exclusively from the console's internal storage system, the PS5 and the PS5 Digital Edition play exactly the same, exactly the same, PS5 games. the way.

With identical internal specs, you'll be able to enjoy 4K gaming at fast refresh rates on both the PS5 and its digital-only counterpart, and you won't expect to see any gameplay differences between the two.

Sony already has some great exclusive titles to play on both machines, including Horizon: Forbidden West, God of War: Ragnarok, Final Fantasy 16, the remake of Demon's Souls, and Miles Morales-enhanced Spider-Man for PS5. This is before taking into account third-party titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, and Resident Evil 8: Village.

Where things get a little more blurry is on the backward compatibility front. Yes, the digital console edition will play PS4 titles, but obviously you won't be able to play your existing collection on disc.

Instead, you will likely have to buy them again, digitally. Sony is taking the stinger off a bit with the introduction of its PlayStation Plus Collection benefit for PS Plus subscribers. Going forward, PS5 owners' subscription cost will also include access to free downloads of the top 20 PS4 games, including God of War, Uncharted 4, and Bloodborne, among others. That's a nice bonus and an instant PS5 game library for newcomers to the console family. But that doesn't do much to cover the hundreds of PS4 titles available on discs for PS5 Digital Edition owners.

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(Image credit: Sony)

Verdict

It's hard to make a call on financial matters - if you're an avid gamer without the cash to make the move to the top-tier PS5, definitely go for this digital console. Next-gen gaming will also be fun on this entry-level model and it's great that performance is consistent on both counts.

But our instinct remains that if you can afford it, go for it. the standard disc-type PS5 console. This will give you access to the joys of 4K Blu-ray viewing (they look better than Netflix's 4K streams, honestly!), not to mention the potential money you'll save over the years by trading games on disc with your friends and in exchange stores.

One more thing to consider is also the gray area of ​​digital property, be it music, movies, or even games. While we haven't seen the fine print on the PS5 in this regard yet, it's common that when it comes to digital media, you don't actually own a title in perpetuity. If, in 2035 or some other date, Sony decided to deactivate the PS5's digital storefront distribution… where are you going to redownload your games then?

Yes, the online elements of modern games mean that fixes are frequent and may sometimes be necessary before a game will work. But if Sony's servers are phased out due to unpredictable circumstances, it is not as comforting to have a digital-only game collection compared to a physical collection.

And in the rare event that your records stop working: at least you have a nice box with boxed illustrations to remember ...

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