Sony surprised the world when it announced its new PS5. It showed off an upgraded console with an all-new design for the brand. Sony also evealed a previously-unknown second model, a PS5 Digital Edition, which is like the regualr model in almost every way, but with one key difference. Now that we have both of these consoles are in our hands, there's a fair bit to unpack.
PS5 vs. PS5 Digital Edition: 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.
|PS5||PS5 Digital Edition|
|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, USB-C||USB 3.0, USB-C|
|Optical drive||4K UHD Blu-Ray drive||None|
|Audio||"Tempest" 3D AudioTech||"Tempest" 3D AudioTech|
|Weight||9.9 lb (4.5kg)||8.6 lb (3.9kg)|
|Dimensions||15.3 in x 4.1 in x 10.2 in||15.3 in x 3.6 in x 10.2 in|
PS5 vs. PS5 Digital Edition: 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 sometime in 2021, they'll need to be certified by Sony, as not every SSD will be fast enough. Don't go and buy an SSD until we've been given an update directly.
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.
PlayStation Plus Collection
PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition owners will be able to pay for a new subscription called PlayStation Plus Collection. This allows subscribers to access a number of PS4 titles on the new console. This includes games like God of War, Bloodborne, and Final Fantasy 15. The PlayStation Plus Collection is playable on PS4 but you have to have redeemed the games on PS5 first.
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."
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 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.
In our PS5 review, PlayStation lead Jennifer Locke noted it was impossible to go back to the PS4 once you've experienced the everything the PS5 has to offer. The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition are currently available for purchase but finding one in stock is extremely difficult right now. If you are able to get one, consider picking up some of the best PS5 games, such as the excellent Demon's Souls remake.
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.
PS5 Digital Edition
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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