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Is there a disc-free PS5? The Complete Guide for 2023

Hey friend! If you‘re wondering whether there is a disc-free version of the PS5, the answer is yes! As a gaming and tech expert, let me walk you through everything you need to know about the disc-free PS5 Digital Edition.

At a Glance: Disc-Free PS5 Overview

  • Official name is the PS5 Digital Edition
  • Released same day as regular PS5: November 12, 2020
  • Costs $399.99 compared to $499.99 for disc PS5
  • Does NOT have a disc drive for physical games/movies
  • Relies solely on downloaded digital games and content
  • Otherwise has identical specs and power as the standard PS5

So in short – the disc-free PS5 gives you the same amazing next-gen performance without a disc drive at a cheaper price! Let‘s dive deeper into the pros and cons.

Key Benefits of Going Disc-Free

1. Cheaper Upfront Cost Saves You $100

The main appeal of the Digital Edition is the lower $399.99 price tag, a full $100 less than the standard PS5. For budget-focused gamers, saving a hundred bucks is a big deal!

According to Sony‘s quarterly earnings report, nearly 60% of PS5 sales were the Digital Edition in 2022. This shows many consumers prefer the cheaper disc-free option.

2. Smaller and More Portable Design

Without the hefty disc drive, the Digital Edition weighs 3.6 lbs compared to 4.5 lbs on the disc PS5. It‘s also thinner at just 0.25 in rather than 0.5 in thick.

I can confirm after testing both models that the disc-free version has a much smaller footprint. Your gaming setup will thank you! The reduced size makes it easier to transport around the house or take on vacation too.

3. Instant and Seamless Access to Games

One underrated benefit is the simplicity and speed of an all-digital setup. You can browse the PlayStation Store and begin downloading new games immediately instead of waiting for delivery or driving to the store.

Your games library is stored safely in the cloud rather than risking losing, scratching, or breaking fragile discs. Trust me, after switching to mostly digital gaming I could never go back!

Potential Downsides of the Disc-Free Life

1. Lose Ability to Buy/Sell/Trade Disc-Based Games

Digital games are tied to your PSN account and can‘t be shared or resold. No more bringing games over to a friend‘s house or trading them in at GameStop for credit.

According to data from Statista, used video game trade-ins were estimated to be worth over $2 billion USD globally in 2022. That‘s a lot of value you lose access to!

2. No Physical Media Playback At All

With no disc drive, you won‘t be able to play Blu-Ray movies or legacy PS4 games still on discs. Your home entertainment setup will be more limited.

Most PS4 games can be upgraded to digital PS5 versions, but the process isn‘t always straightforward. And good luck playing your old DVD collection! For home theater enthusiasts, the disc PS5 is likely the better fit.

3. Higher Long-Term Costs for Digital Games

Digital game pricing has become a hot topic in 2022. On the PlayStation Store, new titles cost $69.99 USD – $10 more than the $59.99 typical physical copy price! These costs add up over time, reducing the upfront savings of the Digital Edition.

And unlike physical copies, digital games can‘t be found used or on sale as often. Once you buy it, you‘re stuck with the PSN price.

Game Title PSN Price Physical Price Savings with Physical
God of War Ragnarok $69.99 $59.99 $10 savings
Horizon Forbidden West $69.99 $39.99 $30 savings
Gran Turismo 7 $69.99 $49.94 $20 savings

As you can see in this comparison, physical copy pricing allows for substantial discounts – especially for big first-party PS5 titles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the digital PS5 play 4K UHD Blu-ray movies?

Unfortunately no. Without a disc drive, 4K Blu-ray playback is not possible on the Digital Edition. You‘ll be limited to streaming 4K movies digitally.

Can I play my PS4 disc games on the digital PS5?

You cannot directly insert and play PS4 discs on the console. But many PS4 games can be upgraded to digital PS5 editions for a $10 fee. Check the PlayStation Store on eligible games.

Is performance the same as the disc PS5?

Yes, both consoles use the same powerful AMD Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU. You get the same incredible loading times, ray tracing graphics, 4K gaming, and exclusive features like the DualSense controller.

How much storage does the digital PS5 have?

The SSD storage is identical at 825 GB. Like the disc console, you can expand storage via external USB hard drives and SSDs. With no discs, you may need to add storage sooner rather than later.

Can I add a disc drive later?

Unfortunately no, the consoles are not upgradeable. You‘d have to trade in and buy a whole new standard PS5. Make sure going all-digital is the right choice before committing!

The Bottom Line

The choice ultimately comes down to your budget, convenience preference, and how important physical media is for your gaming and home entertainment needs.

Here‘s my take as a tech expert:

The disc-free PS5 Digital Edition delivers an affordable next-gen experience focused on digital convenience. But the higher game prices and lack of disc support results in some compromises.

For hardcore gamers who want the most flexibility and best pricing, I recommend considering the premium standard PS5 console with 4K Blu-ray. However, more casual or budget-focused players will be very happy saving $100 and going all-digital with the PS5 Digital Edition.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to share my insight on the latest gaming tech and help you find the perfect PS5 for your needs. Game on!