When purchasing a PlayStation 5 console, buyers can choose between the PS5 Digital Edition and the standard PS5 with a 4K Blu-Ray disc drive. While the core gaming hardware is identical, there are some key distinctions between the two models in price, functionality, game ownership, and design. Understanding these differences helps decide which version best fits your budget, gaming preferences, and usage patterns.
This brief guide will show you the difference between PS5 Digital and Disc versions.
What’s The Difference Between PS5 Digital And Disc?
There are several areas where the differences between the two versions are significant. Let’s discuss each of them below.
The most obvious difference between the PS5 Digital and Disc editions is that the Digital model lacks an optical disc drive. This means all games and media content for the Digital Edition must be purchased digitally through the PlayStation Store. Games and movies can then only be downloaded directly to the console rather than playing physical discs.
In contrast, the standard PS5 still contains a 4K Blu-Ray optical disc drive capable of playing physical disc-based games, movies, and other content. For gamers with existing libraries of PlayStation 4, PS3, or other console game discs, the disc drive model provides backward compatibility and continued access to these physical collections. Those who prefer owning tangible media or watching 4K Blu-Rays also benefit from the real disc drive.
Console Resale Value
Related to the lack of a disc drive, all games purchased digitally on the PS5 Digital Edition remain digital licenses permanently locked to the purchasing PlayStation Network account. There is no ability to resell, lend, or trade downloaded digital games to other people. In contrast, physical disc-based games bought for the standard PS5 with a 4K Blu-Ray drive can be freely shared, traded, resold, or brought to a friend’s house to play installed games on their console. The disc model better supports the collecting community and retains more resale value.
The upfront retail cost also varies noticeably between the PS5 editions. The PS5 Digital Edition comes at a lower launch MSRP of $399.99, a $100 discount over the disc-based PS5 model’s $499.99 price tag. However, the ability to buy, sell, and trade physical disc-based games during a console generation can lead to long-term savings and value recapture that help offset or exceed the initial premium price of disc-based systems.
Reliance on the Internet/PSN
Without an optical disc drive, the PS5 Digital Edition relies entirely on having a stable, high-speed internet connection and valid access to the PlayStation Network for downloading games, receiving title updates, verifying licenses, and most other functionality.
In contrast, the disc-based PS5 can install games directly from physical media without downloading anything. Disc-based games can also be played fully offline indefinitely after the initial installation. While staying offline prevents game patches, it showcases the disc model’s independence from internet connectivity and PSN verification compared to the digital edition.
Frequently Asked Questions about PS5 Digital vs. Disc
Yes, the PS5 Digital Edition retails for $399.99 vs the disc model at $499.99.
The Digital Edition lacks a disc drive, so it cannot use physical games or movies.
No, both models have identical high-speed SSD and hardware specifications. The only difference is the disc drive.
No, both editions include 825GB of ultra-fast solid-state storage. Storage capacity is the same.
No, you cannot modify or add a disc drive later – the console models are fixed as sold.