Sony may have revealed the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition alongside the overall design during the June 2020 showcase, but the company said little else about the alternate next-gen console since. But that's all changed as of the September 16, 2020 showcase. Now, the company has finally confirmed the price, release date, and specifications for both consoles. Here's everything you need to know.
PS5 Standard vs. Digital Edition price
Sony confirmed that the price of the PlayStation 5 at launch is $499.99 and that the PS5 Digital Edition is $399.99.
This corroborates a rumor reported by Spanish publication Vandal Tuesday, which claimed listings for the PS5 consoles went live on the website for Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles. The two devices were listed for the cost of $499 and $399, which both turned out to be right.
More stories from Sony’s September 16 PlayStation 5 Showcase:
- PlayStation 5 finally has a release date, right on the heels of Xbox Series
- PS5 price: Sony reveals how much its next-gen consoles will cost
- PS5 vs. Xbox Series X price breakdown: Which model to pick
- PS5 pre-order guide: How to reserve Sony's console in case it sells out
- God of War Ragnarok teaser confirms Kratos and Atreus come to PS5 in 2021
- Final Fantasy 16 release date, trailer, and story for the PS5 timed exclusive
PS5 Standard vs. Digital Edition specs and features
Even before the September 16 presentation, we more or less already knew that under the hood, the Digital Edition would be virtually indistinguishable from the standard edition.
Shortly after the June reveal, PlayStation’s Head of Global Marketing and Consumer Experience Eric Lempel all but confirmed as much in a PS Blog interview. "It’s a discless version [of PS5]," he said. "It’s important to note that, it’s essentially the same product. You’re not talking about any change to features, or any change to power. It’s the same product, with slight cosmetic differences, and no disc drive. So it’s all digital."
Therefore, the only key difference we'll see between the two consoles is the lack of the disc drive in the Digital Edition. This explains why the consoles look almost identical, which is a totally different approach compared to Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S.
Here's another look at the PS5 specifications:
- CPU — x86-64-AMD Ryzen “Zen 2," 8 Cores / 16 Threads, Variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz
- GPU — AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine, Ray Tracing Acceleration, Variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS)
- System Memory — GDDR6 16 GB, 448 GB/s Bandwidth
- SSD — 825 GB, 5.5GB/s Read Bandwidth (Raw)
- PS5 Game Disc — Ultra HD Blu-ray, up to 100GB/disc
- Video Out— Support of 4K 120Hz TVs, 8K TVs, VRR (specified by HDMI ver.2.1)
- Audio — “Tempest” 3D AudioTech
Is the PS5 Standard or Digital Edition better?
Particularly if you're a fan of Sony-exclusive franchises like Marvel's Spider-Man, God of War, The Last of Us, Uncharted, and Ratchet & Clank, then getting one of the two PS5 systems is a must. But depending on what types of games you play the most and what your favorite games are, a Digital Edition may be for you.
For any ongoing games you might be playing, you'll want to investigate how Sony's smart delivery equivalent works for it. With Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, for instance, it's cheaper to buy a cross-gen digital version as opposed to the physical PS4 copy that you can then leverage to buy a PS5 digital version with a surcharge. It's very confusing, but if you're passionate about a game, it's worth doing the research.
Here's a closer look at some of the biggest deciding factors:
Who should get the PS5 Digital Edition — If you only play a handful of games a year, and especially if you're dedicated to a single (or just a few) live-service games like Call of Duty, Destiny, Fortnite, Overwatch, or Marvel's Avengers, then a PS5 Digital Edition may be the best option.
Call of Duty: Warzone (with some Modern Warfare pieces mixed in) comes in at around 156 GB whereas games like Marvel's Avengers (58 GB) and Ghost of Tsushima (40 GB) are a bit more modest. But if you had these three games on your console with something like Red Dead Redemption 2 that comes in around 200 GB, then that's about half of your total memory. The PlayStation 4's operating system takes up about 93 GB of space, and that figure might be even greater with the PS5. If you tried to add Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, you'd probably be full up at that point.
This is to say that going all-in on the PS5 Digital Edition could quickly become cumbersome if you play a variety of games, and the cheaper price tag won't be worth it in the long run if you just have to invest in external storage. (And can you really put a price tag on the irritation caused by having to constantly delete games to download other ones?) You can expand your storage space with SSDs, but most 1 TB external hard drives run at least $100, so you could lose money in the long run. If running out of space on your hard drive has been an ongoing problem with your PS4, then that could be an even bigger problem on the PS5 Digital Edition.
One other important benefit, however, is that you'll never have to worry about receiving a physical copy of a game on launch day because you can just order it directly from the PS Store — and these versions usually go live at midnight upon release. On the flip side, if you like collecting and displaying physical copies, that won't really be an option.
Who should get the PS5 Standard Edition — Because the hardware under the hood is basically the same, you may be wondering who the PS5 Standard Edition is for, particularly during a pandemic where the last thing many people want is to venture out to their local GameStop to claim a physical copy of a game — and when there's no way Amazon can deliver a game on launch day at midnight.
If you're a Sony diehard who plays a lot of different video games, particularly a mix of big-budget AAA games and staples like Call of Duty: Warzone that eat up a lot of hard drive space, then you should spend the little bit of extra money on the PlayStation 5 Standard Edition. Your hard drive will fill up very quickly if you go all-digital, so you'll want the version of the console that lets you play a mix of physical and digital games.
Particularly if you have a slow internet connection, then downloading huge next-gen video games can take a long time. But if you're playing mostly physical copies of games, then you have that much less to worry about.
PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition will be released on November 12, 2020.