PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition: Amazing Comparisons (2021)

I assume that you’ve already made a decision about getting a PlayStation 5. Which means the next burning question among a lot of you folks these days is, “What’s  better between PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition?”

So, for those of you who plan to get it, all that’s left now is to explain to you the PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition differences. No, seriously, that’s all the article is about.

I want you to make your purchase quick, and clean without buyer’s remorse. Especially when scalpers are still a big problem. You’re literally on the clock when it comes to buying a PlayStation 5. (Seriously… darn those scalpers!) With that said, I put the summary first before elaborating on the points provided. It’s a good enough reason to keep this article short and as concise as it can be for anyone who wants to get to the brass tacks.

Anyhoo, by the time you’re done reading, I guarantee you that you’ll get the full picture, and bet on exactly what kind of PlayStation 5 you need.

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PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Comparison

To begin with, I’ve first summarized the entire PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition article into a single table. You can take a look at the table and still know everything you need to know.

But I’ve also covered each of them in an elaborate fashion, so you can spend more time reading into the details if you want.

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition Summary

Okay, just to scrunch all of the knowledge in one go, I put everything there is to know in a table, which you’ll find below. It’s got all the most important tidbits you’ll want to know before you go ahead and get a PS5 system for yourself.

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition 1 Techie Trickle
Copyright © Techie Trickle

And don’t worry about the system specifications; contextually, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive add-on on the Regular Edition adds a little more weight and uses more power.

Apart from the optical drive, absolutely nothing between the editions are different. Not even the performance!

Now that I put forth the summarized version, you probably want some elaboration on those regards. To the hasty readers — hopefully the table does a great job giving you the almighty TL;DR.

If not, then leave your immediate thoughts in the comments, quick!

With that said, let’s get a little more detailed about the whole PS5 Digital vs Regular Edition shebang.

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Price

As far as the prices are concerned, the PS5 Regular Edition will cost you a bit more than the PS5 Digital Edition. This is because the Regular Edition has an optical 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive to read disks.

The PS5 Standard Edition (AKA the Regular Edition) will cost you a total of $499 while the Digital Edition will cost you a total of $399. If having a disk drive is important to you, then shelling out the extra $100 for it may be worth it in the long run.

Utilitarian users will likely do so without hesitation (and I spoke about that in detail somewhere below, you’ll get there). But, I can’t say the same for some who prefer lightweight features. Which brings me to…

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition Design

A major concern for some when they have the PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition debate is how the Regular Edition would look. And frankly, this is all up to your preference.

On one hand, it’s understandable why the “bulge” would make the system look asymmetrical. On the other — and this is my personal opinion, of course — it isn’t as noticeable as one would imagine it to be, given that you’d spend a lot of your time focusing on what’s playing on the screen, rather than checking out the system itself.

Having said that, visual design does matter, and it’s likely that the Digital Edition looks much closer to what PlayStation’s product designers envisioned their console to be.

Either way, there’s no doubt that the PS5 Digital Edition looks better, but trading utility for aesthetics is always a tough choice to make. The experience is akin to choosing the right outfit in an RPG. Conclusively, think carefully before you cash your decision in.

With the design issue out of the way, now it’s time to poke into the feature that’s the main culprit of this entire article: The drive!

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition Optical Drive

The subtle optical drive — or not so subtle, if you talk about it running 4K resolution media — is the culprit for people’s polarizing reaction to the PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition arguments.

Some call this feature “retro”. Some, “useful”. Some don’t like that it stands out so much, and ruins the flowing design of the system.

Others love that they get to play their physical games once more. Depending on who you ask, you’re going to get a different answer.

While I did state before that this comes down to personal preference, there is a bit of a difference in the cons for the PS5 Digital Edition, and the cons for the PS5 Regular Edition; functionally speaking, the cons for the former is more impactful.

Your Wi-Fi had better be fast

For one, a slow internet connection is your biggest enemy. Consider the download size of games these days. With the Digital Edition, you’ll have to download your entire library through your Wi-Fi alone.

You’ve got to ask yourself, “Can my Wi-Fi download a 250 GB game?” “Can I wait that long, even if it could?” These are questions to ponder on, if you’re running either on Wi-Fi that has download limits set, or Wi-Fi that’s sluggish.

You’re putting all your eggs in one basket

For two, everything is registered under your account. Let’s say you did something that made PlayStation put a dunce cap on you. You then run the risk of losing everything you have access to, including games and subscriptions. All of that — poof! Gone.

But with physical copies, you still own the games. You just need a new account. (Or get the old one reinstated, hoping that you didn’t lose everything.)

Your approach to buying or trying games are restricted

The prospects of:

  • trading or borrowing games among friends;
  • reselling new copies;
  • obtaining used ones at cheaper rates;
  • or playing your old PS4 physical disks on your PS5;

… are completely eliminated, if you go for the Digital Edition.

I don’t know about you, but this tends to be the dealbreaker for most people. On a side note, it’s amazing to see how a small feature change can make all the difference in our approaches.

You lose data insurance

For three, optical drives have proven themselves to be beneficial in crucial times. Ever had a tech guy come over only to stick something in your computer and get things working in a nick of time?

Basically, it may not be useful to you, but it could prove to be a lifesaver if anything ever happened to your PS5’s software.

Call it “insurance”.

Your wallet had better be fat

And for four, digital games cost a whole lot more than physical copies. You’ll have a hard time finding good bargains for digital games. Whereas the price range of physical copies tend to drop quite dramatically within half the year or so.

You may be wondering, “Then, why do digital games cost more?” Well… it’s complicated… you’d need another article for that. But, to cut it really short:

  • Developers and publishers get more money;
  • Platforms take a higher revenue cut;
  • Middlemen are cut out;
  • Games are almost never out of sale;
  • More online consumers equals no reason to lessen the prices

Your best bet when it comes to digital purchases would be to wait for seasonal deals, publisher deals, or buy them at full price.

So, with all of what’s been said, it’s pertinent that you think about all of this before you jump to a conclusion.

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Specs

I wrote it before, and I’ll write it here again: Not a concern at all.

Both the editions have little to no difference in the system specifications, except for in the weight of the consoles, and the power usage.

The PS5 Standard Edition weighs 9.92 lbs; 1.32 lbs more than the PS5 Digital Edition.

As far as the power usage is concerned, the Digital Edition uses 340 Watts in total. Slapping the optical drive on it would add another 10 Watts to the total amount.

Here’s the entire specification list of the PlayStation 5 system. I’ve also highlighted the parts where both the editions differ from each other.

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Specs
Copyright © Techie Trickle

PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition Sales

Now, this part is only a comparison of their sales. When the PS5 was first released, the regular edition actually sold a lot faster than the digital edition did. This is based on the findings by ArsTechnica in their interviews with a number of retail stores. Here’s a breakdown of the preorders.

Image source: ArsTechnica

What’s Your Take on the PS5 Digital Edition vs Regular Edition Discussion?

To summarize, it depends entirely on your approach to gaming on the PlayStation 5 system.

If you’re new to gaming, then you likely won’t need to buy the Regular Edition. But it’s especially useful if you plan to use the console for other reasons, let’s say, to watch a movie.

Otherwise, you’ll have to figure out how much that optical drive may mean to you, and whether you may switch to buying physical game copies.

That’s all there is to it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

It could be about anything! From your experiences with the console to what you think one edition does best over the other. So, what’s your take?

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