PlayStation 5: Digital-Only or Disc Drive?


The PlayStation 5 is finally getting easier to buy for MSRP. The stock constraints that have plagued the system for the past two years have finally abated, and you can now reliably find new PS5 systems on store shelves and in stock at online retailers. 

But there are two varieties of PS5, and you’re only getting one. So, should you opt for the $400 digital-only system or the $500 version equipped with the disc drive? Let’s take a closer look at both varieties of Sony’s latest gaming machine.

The Digital-Only PS5

As the name suggests, the Digital-Only PlayStation 5 does not have a disc drive. You won’t be loading it up with any physical media, so you will instead need to download all of your games. Naturally, this is a strict downgrade for players who don’t have stable internet connections or otherwise prefer to use physical games. 

The $100 discount could be well worth it for some players, though. After all, many gamers these days don’t use physical media much, if ever. Plenty of gamers already download most of their games. This makes the Digital-Only PS5 compelling for them. From an aesthetic standpoint, it is also a somewhat sleeker machine. It ditches the amorphous bulge that comprises the disc drive on the other PS5 model.

The Disc Drive PS5

On the other hand, if you don’t mind shelling out an extra $100, you can get a PS5 with a disc drive that can play physical media. This is great for players who like to buy used games, allow their friends to borrow their game discs, or simply prefer the feel of physical media. 

The Disc Drive version of the system can also play Blu-Ray discs, which could be a worthy use case for some players. After all, fewer households have dedicated movie players than ever before, so the opportunity to have both a gaming device and a Blu-Ray player combined could be worth the extra $100. 

Is it Worth it?

From a broader perspective, though, is it worth getting either PS5 system? According to reviewers, it is. The newest PlayStation offers stunning 4K graphics, smooth 60 FPS framerates, and astonishingly fast load times. 

The system also sports the excellent DualSense controller, which has plentiful haptic feedback systems to make each game more immersive. It’s a huge upgrade from the cheap-feeling, plastic-y DualShock 4 that came with the PlayStation 4, and is one of our favorite controllers on any modern console.