PS5 Standard and PS5 Digital - which should we buy?
PS5 Standard and PS5 Digital. Photo: Herogame

The PS5 Digital Edition is something new for Sony - a PlayStation without a disc drive, and one available from the very start of the console's life cycle.

While how the Digital Edition differs is quite apparent from the outset - the inability to play physical games - the lack of a disc drive has a knock-on effect in other areas of the system which are easy to overlook.

Of course, the Digital Edition has a considerable price difference with the regular PS5 - £449 versus £359 in the UK - so subtle differences, which we'll explain on this page, might be worth it giving up if you're after a cheaper console, according to Eurogamer.

PS5 Digital Edition vs PS5: Similarities

Both systems sport an eight-core AMD Zen 2-based CPU clocked at 3.5GHz, a custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz, 16GB of RAM, and a custom 825GB SSD.

The PS5 duo also boasts exciting next-gen features including instantaneous load speeds, 8K graphical capabilities, and advanced 3D audio, Laptopmag noted.

PS5 Standard and PS5 Digital - which should we buy?
Photo: Eurogamer

PS5 Digital Edition vs PS5: What's the Difference?

There are two major differences between the PS5 Digital Edition vs PS5, and that's the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc drive and the price. The PS5 Digital Edition does not include a disc drive and costs £359.99/$399.99/€399.99, while the PS5 does and costs £449.99/$499.99/€499.99. It's worth pointing out that there are no differences in performance or power between the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition.

There are obvious aesthetic differences between the two devices, as the PS5 Digital Edition has a slightly smaller profile owing to the absence of a disc drive. It also means that physical media cannot be played on the PS5 Digital Edition, including PS5 and PS4 games, DVDs, and 4K UHD Blu-ray movies, reported Pushsquare.

Prices and release dates

The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (with its identical specs aside from the removal of the disc drive) comes in at $399.99 / £359.99 / AU$599.95.

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

There’s a significant saving of $100 / £90 to be made if you go the all-digital route, then. But there are a few things to consider here.

Firstly, you’ll be losing out on the console doubling up as a 4K Blu-ray disc player, which is a nice added bonus for home cinema fans. Considering standalone 4K Blu-ray players cost several hundred dollars and/or pounds themselves, that’s a considerable chunk of cash saved.

Secondly, those with a disc drive will be able to take advantage of being able to swap, loan, borrow and trade physical disc-based games with their friends and exchange stores. Over the course of a console’s lifespan, that could add up to considerable second-hand savings. So what you may save now with the digital console may cost you over the course of a few years, since you'll be paying whatever prices Sony and game publishers decide to set. That’s before taking into consideration the actual joy of owning a physical thing, Techradar cited.

Design and UX

the main difference between the two consoles looks-wise is that one has a disc drive, while the other doesn't. This also allows the Digital Edition to be slightly slimmer towards the base.

It actually helps its design. Both consoles have a sculpted, sci-fi look to them, but without the disc slot blotting its looks, the Digital Edition is actually the sleeker of the two.

But they both have the same distinctive design elements, namely a high, white-collared shell that's separated from the black body of the unit by finned gaps to aid ventilation.

First impressions – posted online by Japanese YouTubers – confirmed that the PS5 is big (39 x 26 x 14cm) but blessed with elegant curves.

Shortly afterward, Sony gave gamers their first look at the PS5 user experience, complete with 4K animation and instant-loading capability. The new Control Center allows users to dip in and out of game levels and video feeds without any lag.

Aesthetically, the PS5's is a striking design that has split opinion. But we like it. Fancy giving your PS5 an eye-catching makeover? One third-party retailer is already selling custom PS5 faceplates in five colors and patterns (via GamesRadar).

Specs and Power

The PS5 vs. PS5 Digital edition specs are almost entirely the same. This is a significant difference compared to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Both of the PlayStation 5 consoles feature the same processor, RAM, storage, and performance. When you play games on the PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition, you will see the same graphics and experience the same speed and loading times.

We like that you get the same gaming experience and the same available storage on the built-in SSD, which means that there is plenty of room for installing games on both consoles. PS5 accessories work the same with both editions, and the box includes the same standard accessories.

The PS5 Digital edition is slightly slimmer at the bottom edge, but overall the design is the same.

The only thing missing from the PS5 Digital Edition is the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive that is included on the more expensive PlayStation 5 model. This is a factor to consider for two reasons. We'll start with PS5 backward compatibility.

PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition specs compared

PS5 PS5 Digital Edition
Price $499 $399
Optical drive Ultra HD Blu-ray None
4K Yes Yes
Size 15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1 inches 15.4 x 10.2 x 3.6 inches
Weight 9.9 pounds/4.5kg 8.6 pounds/3.9kg
CPU AMD Ryzen Zen 2 AMD Ryzen Zen 2
GPU AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine with ray tracing acceleration AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine with ray tracing acceleration
SSD 825GB with 5.5GB/s read bandwidth 825GB with 5.5GB/s read bandwidth

Backward Compatibility & Upgrades

PS5 Standard and PS5 Digital - which should we buy?
Photo: nytimes

The PS5 backward compatibility allows you to play PS4 games on your PlayStation 5 console. Currently, all but nine PS4 games are backward compatible with the PS5.

You can play PS4 games on the PS5 with backward compatibility, and in some cases, you will see increased performance with GameBoost. This feature works on both PlayStation 5 editions.

The most significant factor here is how you bought most of your PS4 games. If you own your PS4 games on discs, you can place them into the PS5 and play them without additional cost. If all of your games are on disc and you buy the PS5 Digital Edition, you won't be able to play those games without buying them digitally. That can add up quickly.

If you own most of your PS4 games digitally, you can buy either PS5 console and play your existing library of games without spending any more money.

Many PS4 games are available with a PS5 version that is included free of charge, though some are only for a limited time. If you bought the PS4 game on a disc, you need to get the PS5 with a disc drive to upgrade the version without rebuying the same game. For buyers who own the digital version, the upgrade works with either PlayStation 5, Newsweek reported.

Should you buy the Standard PS5?

If you love to collect disc copies of your favorite games, you’re probably going to want the Standard PS5. Not to mention, if you mainly purchased disc versions of PS4 games, and you’re not planning to keep your PS4 console, you’ll want the disc version of the PS5. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on all the money you spent on those games because the discs won’t be compatible with the PS5 Digital Edition.

If you also want the ability to watch Ultra HD Blu-ray discs without having to buy a separate Blu-ray disc player, the disc version of the PS5 has you covered. I have a huge collection of Blu-rays and DVDs; this, plus my obsession with getting physical copies of games, is why I’m going to buy the disc version of the PS5.

Plus, if you don’t have the best internet connection, you might consider getting the Standard PS5. After all, downloading beefy games might be horribly long if you have a shoddy connection.

The Standard PS5 is most likely going to cost a little bit more, but if you’re like me and you’re not ready to get rid of your physical collections just yet, the extra money is worth it.

Should you buy the PS5 Digital Edition?

PS5 Standard and PS5 Digital - which should we buy?
Photo: Youtube

You should probably buy the PS5 Digital Edition if you know you’re going to solely buy digital copies of games. It’s probably going to be the cheaper of the two consoles by about $50-100, so if you plan on only buying digital copies of your games, why not go with the cheaper option?

If you own a PS4 and you bought digital copies of games on that console, Sony has confirmed that you will be able to transfer those digital copies to the PS5 Digital Edition.

Depending on how much you game, or rather how many games you download, you might fill up that 825GB SSD in no time. You’ll need to add an extra SSD that’s been certified by Sony. I’m not sure what the pricing would look like on this, but the extra storage could put the total price of this console at or above the Standard version. That is, of course, if you end up needing the extra storage.

If you have great internet speeds and you only purchase digital games, the PS5 Digital Edition is a great option for you. Plus, you’ll have the bonus of a more symmetrical and pleasing design to show off, Androidauthority recommended.

Which should you get?

It's worth noting 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.

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 slice of next-gen fun, according to Pocket-lint.

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