If you’re looking to save some cash with your next console purchase, you’ve probably wondered if the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is cheaper than the disc alternative. After all, the two systems are functionally identical, apart from the former’s lack of an optical Blu-ray drive.
The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is now available for $399.99 / £389.99 / AU$649.95 / €449.99, which is considerably cheaper than standard PS5 model that sells for $499.99 / £479.99 / AU$799.95 / €549.99. A priori, you save 25% by giving up physical games, but is the investment really cheaper in the long term?
Either version of the console has not become more affordable even two years after the system launched in both configurations. In fact, the PS5 actually received a price increase this year, being more expensive than when it launched in November 2020. With that in mind, it’s certainly valid to want to save some extra cash where you can.
Most Big Budget Owners PS5 gameslike the recent God of War Ragnarok and Horizon: West forbidden, priced at $69.99 / £69.99 / AU$125 / €79.99. There is no way around it. You don’t get a launch discount whether you opt for the digital copy or the physical disc. It’s a convenience factor at that time.
The divide becomes more apparent with the PS5 game deals that arise after a security has been in the market for a period of time. This is especially true when taking into account the Black Friday PS5 deals, where software discounts are common. In order to gauge what kind of savings you can make, we need to look at these offers and see if that $100 / £90 / AU$150 / €100 goes a long way.
Are games cheaper digitally or physically on PS5?
While things are pretty even with emerging titles, game deals are where the real savings can be found. By comparing certain offers available at retailers such as Amazon (opens in a new tab) unlike the PlayStation Store which reveals that things are more transparent here. We base ourselves on US prices for parity in all areas.
If discounts are happening around release, you’ll save money by buying physical games rather than opting for digital versions. This can be seen with newer titles such as sound bordersas the game is actually $10 off the physical game, as it sells for $49.89 at the world’s largest online retailer, but the full $59.99 on Sony’s PlayStation Store.
More often than not, when games are discounted through the PlayStation Store and more standard outlets, the latter is traditionally more competitive. This can be highlighted with WWE 2K22which is on sale for $34.97 in the box and $39.99 per download.
There are, however, instances where PS5 games from Sony’s storefront are cheaper than at traditional retailers. Such is the case with Grand Theft Auto 5, which is available from Sony digitally for $19.79 and from Amazon physically for $26.88. It’s similar to Pac-Man World Re-Pac, as the platformer dropped to $19.49 through the PlayStation Store, but still at its full MSRP of $30 at brick-and-mortar retailers. Games aren’t always cheaper on disc.
In summary, it’s a pretty even mix where you might be more likely to see deals happening first on physical games. Yet once the titles are updated, the differences are ultimately minor. If you plan to download most of their library, a SSD for PS5 is an absolute must, as the internal storage will fill up quickly.
Are you saving money with the PS5 Digital Edition?
The main difference between the PS5 vs. PS5 Digital Edition is that one is related to the price set by Sony’s store, and the other is not. The PS5 Digital Edition ends up saving you a quarter of the asking investment price. When it comes to games, however, you won’t necessarily get cheaper new releases by buying the disc or downloading the data. You also don’t have the option for used games here by getting rid of the disc drive.
In most cases, any PlayStation Store discounts will be competitive with what other retailers can offer, especially if a game has been out for a while. It’s sure to lessen the sting of missing something, but there will be times when a title might cost you more by comparison.
It may not be so forever. Recent PS5 slim leaks alleged that we could see the latest console with a removable/portable disk drive. Reported information claims that Sony may release a major hardware overhaul in 2023, which would allow gamers to do both. Whether it will be released next year remains to be seen.