PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Which next-generation Sony PlayStation should you get?

(Pocket-lint) – The PlayStation 5 is on the way – we might not know the exact date for its launch, and we might not be sure exactly what price it’s aiming for, but we know that this holiday season two different models will hit shelves.

Sony’s shown off the standard PS5 and a slightly slimmer version in the form of the PS5 Digital Edition, and if you’ve decided that you’re going to go with a PlayStation for the coming generation, you might be wondering which of the two you should pick up. We’ve got the key facts on what’s different and what’s the same between the two models, so read on to find out all you need to know. 

What’s the same between the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition?

Specs

The key thing to know about the two versions of the PS5 is 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. That means long loading times could be a thing of the past.

Design

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 up vertically, but the standard PlayStation 5 is a little thicker as a result of its disk 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 the two versions of the PS5 – disk drive, and price. One we know about, the other is still unconfirmed.

The standard PS5 has a 4K Blu-ray player that will let you play games from physical disks, as well as watch 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 any PS4 games Sony confirms for backward compatibility (that list is still unknown) will play when you load their discs in, if the system supports it.

By contrast, the PS5 Digital Edition has no disk 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 expectation is that the lack of disk drive will make the Digital Edition of the PlayStation 5 cheaper than the full version, and we’d entirely agree with that supposition. However, we don’t know what the margin of difference will be, and we also don’t have a firm idea of what the price for either model is, yet. 

Which should you get?

The choice between the two PS5 models comes down to one main factor, for us – how do you buy your games? If you’ve been loving digital storefronts for ages and hardly ever pick up a disk nowadays, then the Digital Edition would make sense. It’ll almost certainly save you some money up-front, cut down the size of the console, and save you from the clutter of game boxes.

However, if you like having physical games, or use trade-in services all the time to afford new releases, then we’re not sure the economy of the Digital Edition holds up. 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. 

That’s why we’d lean toward the standard PS5, personally – however, everyone’s got different preferences and situations, so it’s handy that either way you should be getting a slice of next-gen fun. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.


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