On 11th June, Sony revealed its next-gen gaming console, PS5 at the Future of Gaming Event. In the same event, the Japanese conglomerate showcased two editions of the PS5 – the regular PS5 and the digital edition of the system.
Notably, all the specs of both the systems are similar, except that the regular PS5 will support a 4K Blu-ray drive and the digital edition will not support any physical copies of media, that is, the games will have to be downloaded digitally.
|Processor||AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores @ 3.5GHz|
|GPU||10.28 Teraflops, AMD RDNA 2 GPU, 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz|
|RAM||16 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||448 GB/s|
|Internal Storage||Custom 825 GB SSD|
|Expandable storage||NVMe SSD slot|
|External Storage||USB HDD support|
|Optical Drive Support||4K Blu-ray drive in PS5. None in PS5 digital edition.|
|Backwards Compatibility||“99% of thousands of PS4 games” that Sony has tested. No information is available regarding the earlier generation games.|
In a subsequent Showcase Event held on 16th September, Sony revealed the prices and the expected release date for both the systems. The PS5 is priced at $499.99 (about Rs. 36,800) while the digital edition will be available at a much cheaper rate of $399.99 (about Rs. 29,500). In India, however, the prices will be much more owing to the taxes and custom duty. The exact prices for the Indian customers have not been revealed yet.
PS5 and PS5 digital edition will be available from 12th November in the US, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and South Korea. Sony further stated that the systems will be available to “the rest of the world” on 19th November. The availability date for India has not been confirmed yet. Notably, top rival Xbox will launch the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on the 10th of November in India.
The event also gave a glimpse of the next-gen games including Final Fantasy 16, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Hogwarts Legacy, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition, among others.
PS5 Versus PS5 Digital Edition
Apart from the obvious differences highlighted earlier, there are some changes in the design of both the systems. The PS5 digital edition is sleeker and much more symmetrical and visually appealing than the standard PS5 system. The digital version is also cheaper by $100 (about Rs. 7,400) than its counterpart. So as long as one has an extremely good internet connection and is not crazy about owning physical copies of the games, the digital edition could be the better choice.
On the other hand, the disc-based console would be the better option for those who don’t want to rely on unstable internet connections for downloads as the average game can range between 50-80 GB while others can even go beyond 100 GB. Moreover, if one has a DVD and a Blu-ray collection, they might prefer systems that support gaming, DVDs and Blue-ray. All in all, some people simply prefer the old school physical copies, even if it means that they have to shell out some extra bucks. So, the standard PS5 should be the better option for those who want to be able to have a choice between the digitally downloaded games and the fresh physical copies from the retail store.
All in all, there is no best version per se. It simply boils down to user preferences and requirements.
Xbox Versus PlayStation
There is expected to be a stiff competition between the new Xbox Series X and PS5 which will launch almost around the same time. Until now, Sony has been leading the console war as the PS4 managed to outsell Xbox One by a huge margin as per analytics firm, Ampere Analysis. However, experts believe that this time Xbox might be at an advantage because of the cheaper price of the Series S and the Xbox Game Pass service.
Laura Dale, a video games journalist, told BBC:
However, Sony’s PS5-exclusive titles such as Final Fantasy 16, Spider-Man: Miles Morales might prevent people from swaying away to Xbox. Moreover, the launch of Xbox’s most anticipated Halo Infinite game has been postponed to 2021.
It is also observed that consumers tend to remain faithful to the same console brands, much like the other appliances such as smartphones and laptops. We will have to wait and see if this sentiment holds true this time as well.