Sony surprised the world at its next-generation showcase, The Future of Gaming, where it showed off multiple new PS5 games. Sony also showed off the long-awaited design of its upcoming PS5 console and revealed a previously-unknown second model, a PS5 Digital Edition. While we don't know everything about these models yet, here's what we do know.
What's the difference?
Sony has reiterated that these two consoles are almost exactly the same. Both PS5 consoles have an immense amount of graphical power, good CPUs, and a highly-custom, super quick solid-state drive (SSD). They both use the new DualSense controller and are compatible with the same accessories. The main difference is the lack of Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray drive.
The regular PS5 includes this drive, meaning it can play games installed through a disc, including backward-compatible PS4 titles. You'll also be able to watch Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray titles. Meanwhile, the Digital Edition console will, of course, lack these capabilities. It's intended for anyone who doesn't use physical media anymore, so if you're already purchasing the digital versions of games, while also watching your movies and TV shows digitally, you won't miss out. It's also likely to be smaller than the regular PS5 due to the lack of a disk drive, although we don't know exact dimensions yet.
|GPU||10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs @ 2.23 GHz Custom RDNA 2||10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs @ 2.23 GHz Custom RDNA 2|
|CPU||8x Cores @ 3.5GHz Custom Zen 2||8x Cores @ 3.5GHz Custom Zen 2|
|Memory||16GB GDDR6||16GB GDDR6|
|Storage||825GB SSD||825GB SSD|
|USB||USB 3.0 (unknown), USB-C||USB 3.0 (unknown), USB-C|
|Optical drive||4K UHD Blu-Ray drive||None|
What this difference means for you
Memory and storage
Both PS5 consoles include a custom 825GB SSD. This SSD is extremely fast, reaching speeds of 5.5GB/s of raw data, well beyond what most SSDs are currently capable of. Regardless of whether you buy your games physically or digitally, they'll need to be installed, which will take up space on the SSD. While you will be able to expand your storage space through "verified" SSD drives set to be announced later in the year, they'll need to be certified by Sony, as not every SSD will be fast enough. We don't have any exact examples or prices yet, but it's sure to be expensive.
Both consoles are backward compatible with PS4 games, with the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 games being supported on day one. Some (but not all) of these titles, including PSVR games, will be able to tap into the vastly enhanced power of the PS5 to run at higher resolutions or more stable framerates.
It is, however, important to note that the PS5 Digital Edition will not be able to play PS4 discs; it will only be compatible with digital PS4 games. This is an essential factor to consider if you have a large collection of physical PS4 games you'd like to continue being able to play.
Limited edition consoles
No limited edition consoles have been revealed — yet. It appears that some interesting designs could be on the way in the future, as in a now-deleted thread, Sony's VP of UX design at PlayStation, Matt MacLaurin, explained that the PS5 hardware is customizable in ways the previous console wasn't. He also said that there will be "a special edition for everyone."
Microsoft released the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition in 2019, a completely digital version of the Xbox One S console. This console had a $50 lower retail price than its disc drive-bearing brethren, which is likely the extent of the price difference we'll see between the PS5 and the PS5 Digital Edition.
The only size difference is accommodating for the disc drive, and with otherwise-identical specs, there's not much room for Sony to lower the price further. If the PS5 is $500, the PS5 Digital Edition will likely be $450.
Regardless of which system you go with, you'll be in for another generation of high-quality games. I'd recommend grabbing the Digital Edition if you're new to the PlayStation ecosystem since it's likely to be a bit cheaper and smaller. You also won't have the clutter of discs to keep track of. If you've got Blu-ray movies or PS4 games you want to continue playing, however, then you'll want to go with the regular PS5.
Preorders haven't opened yet, and the official prices have yet to be announced, so you've got some time to think. The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition are scheduled to release sometime in Holiday 2020.
Time to play
Keep all your options open with the regular PS5, as you won't be cut off from PS5 or PS4 discs. If you aren't ready to give up physical media, this is the console for you.
Time to play — digitally
Play the same great PS5 games as well as your older PS4 titles — provided they are all digital. No more worrying about discs if you go this route.
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