PS5 price: Digital and Standard editions, explained
All those spiffy next-gen graphics and haptic feedback probably won't come cheap.
On June 11, Sony revealed new details about its long-awaited PlayStation 5 console, and one of the biggest surprises of the event was that there are two versions of the PS5: the Digital and Standard edition. While players got their first look at games such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Resident Evil 8, one big question remains unanswered: how much is this thing going to cost? We still don't know, but Sony's reveal does give us some clues. Here's what we know.
For the first time, Sony revealed what the PS5 looks like, adopting the black and white colorway first teased when Sony revealed the DualSense controller. It's sleek and swooping design is a far cry from the clunky dev kit images that have been making their way around the internet for the last few months. It also looks... expensive. That's where the Digital Edition comes in.
The Digital Edition eliminates the disc drive, and may or may not have expandable storage. It's not yet clear if the hardware and processing power is the same. Assuming it is, the Digital Edition would be cheaper, but would make players wholly dependent on their internet connection to access new games. This limits its appeal in rural areas, and for collectors who like to have physical copies. Presumably, Sony will offer some kind of subscription cloud storage to save your games — likely for an added monthly fee.
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Back in February, Bloomberg reported that PS5 component pricing had put Sony in a difficult position in terms of marketing its next-gen hardware. The new console reportedly costs $450 per unit to produce, getting Sony uncomfortably close to $500. The June 11 reveal may hint that the price tag for the standard edition is at or even above $500.
More stories from the PlayStation 5 reveal event:
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales gets a late 2020 PS5 release date
- Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart revealed for PS5 with a multivers twist
- Gran Turismo has been confirmed for PS5
- Jett the Far Shore trailer reveals trippy Ps5 launch title
- Resident Evil 8 release date: Leaks tease a supernatural new direction
- Hitman 3 PS5 release date: Agent 47's trilogy comes to an end
- Project Athia PS5 trailer looks better than Lumen in the Land of Nanite
Back in 2006, the PlayStation 3 launched with an eye-watering price tag of $599, and consumers balked. Though the console rebounded to sell 84 million units — after a substantial price drop and some killer exclusives — it's widely regarded to be Sony's least successful gaming hardware launch.
Given the cadence of next-gen console news over the last several months, it seems likely that Sony will wait to see how Microsoft prices the Xbox Series X before it reveals any further information about pricing for either model. However, it's hard to imagine Sony taking a substantial loss on each unit of hardware — particularly given the company's plans to produce a "limited" number of units in the first few months and the enduring popularity of the PS4. The Standard edition PS4 is likely going to be close to $500, if not more.
Of course, that launch day price for a new PS5 doesn't include the heap of not-so-optional extras for most consumers: a game or two at the very least, and likely additional storage and a second controller. We know the standard edition PS5 will come with an 825 GB solid-state drive, but it's not yet clear how much game files will be compressed due to the new speed boosts afforded by SSD. It's also not clear how much storage the Digital edition will have.
As any PS4 fan can tell you, 825 GB isn't a hell of a lot if you don't want to have to steadily delete games from your library, particularly when AAA releases routinely clock in over 50 GB, with some games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Final Fantasy XV taking up more than 100 GB. Thankfully, it seems PS5 will allow gamers to buy their own expandable storage, rather than using something proprietary. Still, that's another early expense, even if it's not necessarily a day-one necessity.
We don't yet know if PS5 will be compatible with your good old PS4 DualShocks, but that would be a nice second controller backup option. Sony has yet to reveal pricing information on the new DualSense controller, but we're willing to guess that all that haptic feedback tech comes with a pretty big price tag. We wouldn't be surprised to see it retail for upwards of $70, given that the Nintendo Switch Pro controller retails for $69.99.
PlayStation 5 is set to launch in late 2020.