PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: What are the major differences?


June 11th, 2020 marked the day when Sony finally unveiled the PlayStation 5's finalised specs and design. Alongside a slew of exciting announcements that showed off explosive PS5 games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the ‘Future of Gaming’ reveal event ended with the big reveal that PS5 would be launching in the holiday  - and the excitement hasn't really slowed down going into 2021. The biggest difference between this and previous console generations, is that the PlayStation is not launching with one model but two. Naturally, this leads us to pit these two console variants together in a PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition battle.

In this guide we’ll breakdown everything worth knowing about both PlayStation 5 editions, weighing up the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed purchase decision the next time a PS5 console bundle pops back up in stock. There's plenty of aspects to consider, so let’s get into it…

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Appearance

One of the most notable differences between the standard PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition is the slight change in appearance. Both variants ostensibly look the same, for the most part, with the exception that this new, digital-only version loses the 4K Blu-Ray drive – and therefore much of the bulk. Because of this, the PS5 Digital Edition does tout a bit more symmetry compared to the standard model, with the black and white tower neatly bowing inward before the chassis points outwards at both the bottom and top.

Of course, the console’s appearance will have absolutely no effect on how PS5 games look or run; it’s simply about choosing which option will best suit your purchasing habits. If you’re a disc-free gamer who doesn’t much like to have video game boxes around to gather dust, you’ll likely punt for the PS5 Digital Edition to play games via digital download. However, if you’re a player that enjoys the flexibility of being able to lend games to friends or trade them in when finished, the standard PS5 console will be the one for you. Both variants look relatively smart either standing or led down.

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Tech specs

Outside of the 4K Blu-Ray drive,  both the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition pack the exact same technical capabilities under the hood. This may likely change (as it often does) midway through the console’s lifecycle, especially since Sony recently announced it'd change semiconductor suppliers due to shortages, but until then here are the confirmed specs for both variants of the PlayStation 5:

Specs PlayStation 5
Price TBA
Release Date Holiday 2020
Processor Custom 8-core AMD
RAM 16GB GDDR6/256-bit
Teraflops 9 TF
Storage Custom 825gb SSD
Backwards Compatible Top 100 PS4 games only (at launch)
Ray Tracing Yes
Max resolution 8K
Max framerate 120 frames per second

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Games

When it comes to games there will be absolutely no difference shared between the two PS5 variants at all, other than the fact one will allow you to play physical discs and the other will not. If you opt for the PS5 Digital Edition you’re only option will be to download titles from the PlayStation Network, while standard PS5 owners will be able to do that and pick up games in retail stores as well.

Here are just some of the most notable titles that will or have released on PlayStation 5 so far:

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: Price

One of the major hot topics in the PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition debate was always going to be price. And despite holding off on commenting on it until a few months before release, it was eventually revealed that both variants would retail for different RRPs. The standard PS5 with a disc drive retailers here in the UK for £449.99, while the Digital Edition comes in at £100 less at £349.99. Features like native 4K resolution support and ray-tracing are visual flourishes that don’t come cheap, hence why the price hike over the PS4's initial price back in 2013.

One way of making the price of either PS5 variant more palatable is by opting to pick up a bundle as they become available. This is an option offered by most UK retailers known to stock PS5, adding more value to the overall package by including additional first-party accessories and Triple-A games. No official bundle has been released by Sony specifically, but retailers like GAME form their own for you to choose from.

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