PS5 Disc vs Digital: which is better?
The PS5 comparison charts the price, specs, storage and performance
This PS5 Disc vs PS5 Digital comparison guide will tell you which new Sony console is better, and it’s not the version of the PlayStation 5 that seems to want (at first). The popular PS5 Digital Edition is $100 cheaper than the PS5 Disc, but it’s worth paying the extra money because this PlayStation 5 will save you money in the long run. It’s also 14 times more difficult to get a PS5 restock of the Digital Edition vs PS5 Disc.
Let’s start this PS5 Disc vs PS5 Digital in-depth comparison by saying that the two consoles are identical when it comes to specs. Both can play the best PS5 games at up to 4K resolution and hit frame rates of up to 120fps if you have a compatible TV. They’re both backward compatible with PS4 games, use a super-fast NVMe SSD to all but eliminate load times, and come with 825GB of storage. ✅
See our PS5 SSD upgrade guide; you only get 667GB of usable space 🪛
Check out our best SSD for PS5 guide to pick the correct NVMe SSD
However, the most significant difference is that the PS5 Digital Edition doesn’t have a disc drive (you may have guessed that by the name). The console's lack of a 4K Blu-ray drive makes Sony’s cheaper PS5 look more aesthetically pleasing to look at but – other than being slightly lighter in weight and thinner in dimensions – that’s about it when it comes to plus points for the digital-only model.
If you’re on the fence about which of Sony’s two consoles to buy, here’s everything you need to know about the PS5 Disc vs Digital. 👇
PS5 disc vs digital: price 💵
The PS5 Digital Edition wins regarding which PlayStation 5 is cheaper upfront, but don’t be fooled by the initial price tag. Even though the PS5 Digital Edition is $399 / £359 compared to the standard PS5, which is $499 / £449, you’re forever tied to Sony’s digital storefront when purchasing games.
While Sony does admittedly have some fantastic online sales, it’s still rare that a digital version of a game will be cheaper than a disc copy. There’s also the fact that when you buy a digital game, you can’t do anything with it. However, with a disc, you can trade it, lend it to a friend, or rest assured that your purchase will be playable for many years if Sony ever chooses to close down the PSN store. 😬
➡️ See the ongoing PS5 games sale today
Suppose you have an existing collection of physical PS4 games? In that case, you won’t be able to play them on PS5 Digital Edition, nor will you be able to pick up the physical versions of PS5 games, which are often cheaper than their digital counterparts. 👎
If that wasn’t bad enough, then the PS5 Digital Edition’s lack of disc drive also means you can’t use it as a 4K Blu-ray player. Streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus may be all the rave these days, but knowing you have a 4K Blu-ray player to hand makes the extra $100 you have to pay even less of an issue.
PS5 disc vs digital: specs 🔍
The PS5 Digital Edition and the standard PS5 are identical apart from the missing disc drive, dimensions, and weight. There’s no difference in performance or which games can be played, as both consoles use the same custom processor and even have the same 825GB SSD.
Here are the official PS5 vs PS5 Digital specs, straight from Sony;
💲Price: $499 / $399
💿 4K Blu-ray disc drive: Yes / No
💪 Size: 15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1 inches / 15.4 x 10.2 x 3.6 inches
⚖️ Weight: 9.9 pounds (4.5kg) / 7.9 pounds (3.6kg)
🤓 CPU: 3.5GHz, 8-core AMD Zen 2 / 3.5GHz, 8-core AMD Zen 2
💪 GPU: 10.3 teraflop RDNA 2 GPU / 10.3 teraflop RDNA 2 GPU
🐏 RAM: 16GB GDDR6 / 16GB GDDR6
⏩ SSD: Custom 825GB SSD / Custom 825GB SSD
PS5 Disc vs Digital: SSD 🪛
The PS5 Disc and Digital models come with the same 825GB SSD capacity. There’s no difference in loading times or performance, and you can add more storage to both consoles via the empty SSD bay.
Not sure which SSD to buy? Check out the best SSD for PS5 💪
However, even though the PS5 storage is advertised at 825GB, you only get 667.2GB of usable space. That means 19% of the PS5’s drive is reserved for mandatory files. With the average PS5 game requiring around 20GB to 50GB of installation space, things can fill up fast. It’s worth remembering that every PS5 disc also installs onto the SSD, so it’s not just digital titles that will eat up storage space.
PS5 disc vs digital: games 🕹️
The PS5 and PS5 digital are identical in terms of performance and what games they can play. The only difference, as you might have guessed, is that you can only play digital copies of PS5 and PS4 games on the disc drive-free model of Sony’s console.
Again, if you have an extensive library of PS4 games on disc, you won’t be able to play these on the PS5 Digital Edition. You’ll also miss out on getting PS5 upgrades on the cheap. You can often find physical PS4 versions with a free or paid PS5 upgrade for less than their digital counterparts, such as Death Stranding, Final Fantasy 7 Remake and even Horizon: Forbidden West.
Digital copies aren’t all bad, though. They’re far more convenient if you like to switch between multiple games simultaneously, as you never need to worry about changing discs. That makes digital versions a tempting proposition, but you can still buy digital games on the PS5 disc version, giving you the best of both worlds (some people miss that important stat in this comparison).
Should I buy PS5 Disc or Digital? 🤔
The lower price point is the most significant benefit of choosing the PS5 Digital Edition over the PS5 disc version. As I’ve already mentioned, the PS5 Digital Edition costs $399 instead of PS5 Disc price of $499 as it doesn’t have a disc drive, so you’re saving $100, which isn’t an insignificant amount.
That saving might be enough reason for some to pick the digital version of Sony’s console, as you could feasibly put the savings to pick up one of the lovely new PS5 controller colors, a couple of games, or one of the best PS5 accessories. But over time, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll spend more on PS4 and PS5 games, and you also lose some functionality like being able to play 4K Blu-ray discs. ❌
Stay on top of every new release with our PS5 games 2022 list 📃
Of course, the choice of which PS5 you buy is ultimately up to you, but it’s easier to find the standard PS5 in stock than its digital-only counterpart. Sony has opted to choose its PS5 disc console for bundles, the latest of which includes Horizon Forbidden West. You may have no choice but to buy the standard PS5, but as I’ve said from the outset, that’s no bad thing. 😁
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Updated: June 25, 2022