You want to pre-order/buy the PlayStation 5? You are spoiled for choice: Besides a standard model, there will also be a Digital Edition. Where are the differences?
The two PS5 models in comparison: Normal (left) and Digital (right).
4. Sales wave on the way: Rumored to launch on 11. or 12. February 2021 the next PS5 sales wave. To help you decide which console to buy, we’ve updated this article.
- PS5 – Release Date: 19. November 2020 (available now)
- PS5 – Price of the drive edition: 499 Euro
- PS5 – Digital Edition Price: 399 Euro
Technical specifications of the PS5 (drive/digital)
The following specifications apply to both the drive PS5 and the digital variant.
- x86-64-AMD Ryzen "Zen 2
- 8 cores / 16 threads
- Variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz
- AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine
- Raytracing acceleration
- Variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS)
- GDDR6 16GB
- 448GB/s bandwidth
- 5.5GB/s read bandwidth (raw)
Standard PS5 vs. Digital Edition: The differences
Only with the "normal" one PS5 you have the possibility to use games on discs, because only this model has a drive necessary for it. The Digital Edition doesn’t have this option, you’re completely dependent on digital downloads from the PS Store and thus a (fast) internet connection.
Blu-ray player: Of course, this restriction doesn’t only affect games. Logically, you won’t be able to play 4K Blu-rays with the Digital Edition either.
resale: A resale of digital PlayStation games is – at least for now – not yet possible. A used games option is still only available for disc-based games, and accordingly only on the standard PS5 model.
Admittedly, it’s only a small difference, but still a clearly visible one. The Digital Edition’s missing drive also has an impact on the console’s design.
Because while the standard model has a small bulge on the side with the drive, this is omitted in the Digital Edition. The result: an overall more symmetrical and sleeker design of the no-drive variant.
Here nicely to see. The drive "knob the standard PS5 is omitted in the Digital Edition.
The omission of the drive in the Digital Edition also affects the price of the Digital Edition: The Digital Edition is available for 399 Euros, which is 100 Euros less than the Drive Edition, which is available for 499 Euros.
Sony emphasizes that the PS5 will generally be quieter than the PS4, but the standard model and the Digital Edition will probably differ a bit in terms of volume.
Because the rotation of a disc produces noises that can be louder or quieter depending on the drive installed. However, these are completely omitted in the Digital Edition, which is why we assume that this should be the somewhat quieter model.
The digital edition is a bit flatter due to the lack of a drive:
- PS5 with drive: Ca. 390mm x 104mm x 260mm (width x height x depth) (largest protrusion not taken, without stand)
- PS5 Digital Edition: Ca. 390mm x 92mm x 260mm (width x height x depth) (largest protrusion not taken, without stand)
- PS5 with drive: 4.5kg
- PS5 Digital Edition: 3.9kg
- PS5 with drive: 350W
- PS5 Digital Edition: 340W
The differences at a glance
- Sale of used games possible
- Blu-ray movies playable
- No used game sales
- Blu-ray movies cannot be played
Conclusion – For whom is which console suitable??
Of course, in the end you can only decide for yourself which version of the PS5 suits you personally best.
However, those who prefer to download their games completely and store them on the hard disk (or SSD) should take a closer look at the Digital Edition. If you have an SSD, don’t watch disc movies anymore and don’t resell your games, you should take a closer look at the Digital Edition, also because of the lower costs. It should be noted, however, that digital versions of games are often more expensive than their store counterparts, so the supposed price advantage may become more of a disadvantage in the long run.
Accordingly, for the majority of gamers, the drive variant should still be the more attractive option, as all functions are available here. The slightly higher price in comparison will hardly matter in the end result.