PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Which Sony PlayStation 5 should you get?
As well as the standard model – that’s the one with the disc drive – there’s a slightly slimmer, cheaper version, in the form of the PS5 Digital Edition. So, here are the differences between the two machines to give you an idea of which would suit you best.
You should also check out our guide on the best PS5 games to see what to pair your new console with.
What’s the same between the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition?
The key thing to know about the two versions of the PS5 is that almost all of their components are identical – you get the exact same graphical performance, processor and storage options regardless of which you pick.
That means both have an eight-core Zen 2 processor, running at 3.5GHz per core, with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM to call upon.
That’s backed up by a GPU that can manage 10.28 TFLOPS across 36 CUs, a whole bunch more than even the PS4 Pro could manage. Storage-wise, both PS5s have 825GB custom SSDs, which can read data at a lightning-quick 5.5GB/s while you game. Long loading times are a thing of the past.
The two consoles also have very similar designs, both featuring the same wing-tip style flaring sides and white casing, with blue lighting accenting the package nicely.
They’re the same size in height when stood vertically, but the standard PlayStation 5 is significantly thicker as a result of its disc drive. It’s most noticeable at the base of the console, where this change has been made.
What’s different between the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition?
As you may have worked out by now, there are only two key differences between each PS5 model – the disc drive and price.
The standard PS5 has a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player that will let you play games from physical discs, as well as watch Ultra HD movies. This will naturally mean that you can trade in games after you’ve played them and lend them to friends. It’ll also mean that almost every PS4 game you have on disc will also work through backward compatibility.
By contrast, the PS5 Digital Edition has no disc drive, which means all games you play will need to be purchased digitally, and you will only be able to stream media rather than playing it from the drive.
The absence of disc drive does, of course, make the Digital Edition of the PlayStation 5 cheaper than the full version. It’s generally $100 / €100 / £90 / ¥10,000 less, which could be really enticing depending on your budget.
Which should you get?
The choice between the two PS5s comes down to a couple of factors: how you buy your games and whether you want to watch DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays.
If you’ve been loving digital storefronts for ages and hardly ever pick up a disc, then the Digital Edition makes sense. It’ll save you some money up-front, cut down the size of the console, and save you from the clutter of game boxes. Plus, with the recent addition of digital games catalogues available through PlayStation Plus membership, there are 100s of games you can feed it for just one monthly fee.
However, if you like having physical discs or use trade-in services all the time to afford new releases, then you will be hamstrung by the Digital Edition.
It’s worth noting too that you’ll likely have either PS5 for a good number of years, so it wouldn’t take long to make back the price difference between the two models by trading in games or lending and borrowing copies with your friends or family. Also, if you have slow broadband, it’s worth remembering that all-digital PS5 games can turn out to be lengthy downloads.
That’s why we would lean toward the disc-toting PS5. However, everyone’s got different preferences and situations, so it’s handy that either way you should be getting a decent slice of current-gen fun.