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The Downsides of Choosing the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition

Hey fellow gamers! If you‘re weighing up whether to buy the PS5 Digital Edition or the standard disc-drive model, I‘ve got some really detailed disadvantages you need to consider first as an avid gamer. As a hardcore tech geek and data analyst myself, I‘ve crunched the numbers and want to share with you why the all-digital PS5 could fall short for serious players.

In a Nutshell – Lack of Discs Limits Ownership, Access and Value

The main limitation of the PS5 Digital Edition is the lack of a disc drive. This restricts you to digital-only games, unable to play or resell any physical disc-based games. It also prevents backwards compatibility with your existing PS4 game discs. This reliance on digital games locks you into the PlayStation Store prices and rules, reducing ownership flexibility and long-term value.

1. No Discs Means No Cheap Used Games

One major advantage of physical games is the used market. I regularly buy quality second-hand PS4 games for $10-20 on eBay – often less than 6 months after launch! But with the PS5 Digital, you are forced to buy all your games brand new from the PlayStation Store.

To illustrate the cost difference, here‘s a comparison of new vs used prices for some of the top PS4 games still worth playing on PS5 via backwards compatibility:

Game New Digital Price Used Disc Price
God of War $49.99 $12.99
Spider-Man $39.99 $15.49
Horizon: Zero Dawn $29.99 $8.99

As you can see, you could pay up to 80% less buying physical used vs digital! This adds up fast when building a game library.

2. Digital Game Sales Are Weak

Another benefit of discs is retail competition. Stores are constantly battling for your business with discounts and sales for new games. Here‘s a look at the best deals for top new PS5 releases:

Game PS Store Price Best Physical Deal
Elden Ring $59.99 $49.95 Amazon
Horizon Forbidden West $69.99 $59.99 Walmart
Cyberpunk 2077 $49.99 $29.99 Best Buy

Whereas the PlayStation Store rarely discounts new titles, physical retailers offer 10-40% off! Over the 7 year console lifecycle, those savings from discs can total hundreds of dollars.

3. Disc Drive Adds Resale Value

When it comes time to eventually sell your PS5, the disc drive model will recoup more value. Looking at current eBay auctions, used PS5 Disc Editions are selling for ~$60-80 more than the Digital model. The disc drive is appealing to buyers for playing used games and Blu-Ray movies. This difference can help offset the initial $100 premium for the standard edition.

4. You Can Lend and Borrow Disc Games

One social perk of discs is being able to lend, share and borrow games with friends who also own a PS5. My gaming buddy and I take turns buying titles then share them when we‘ve finished playing. This lets us play more new games while spending less. Unfortunately game sharing is not possible with digital downloads.

5. Huge Install Sizes Eat Storage

Next-gen games keep getting bigger – most top PS5 titles require a 50-100GB install! Here are some install sizes for popular games:

Game Install Size
NBA 2K23 121GB
Call of Duty: MW II 100GB
Spider-Man: Miles Morales 50GB

The 825GB built-in storage on the PS5 Digital Edition will fill up extremely fast. Using expandable SSD storage is very expensive compared to cheap external hard drives. Having to constantly delete and reinstall gigantic games is a pain. Discs help avoid this by only requiring one install.

6. Rural Internet Can‘t Handle Downloads

Given those massive install sizes, downloading games requires blazing fast internet. Here‘s the estimated download times on different connections according to the PS5 setup guide:

Internet Speed Download Time for 50GB Game
2Gbit/s (250 MB/s) 5 minutes
600Mbit/s (75MB/s) 11 minutes
100Mbit/s (12.5MB/s) 1 hour 7 mins
10Mbit/s (1.25MB/s) 11 hours!

Rural players stuck with slow DSL internet face multi-hour downloads for every game. Physical discs avoid this headache.

7. Digital Libraries Can Vanish

All your purchased digital games reside online in your PlayStation account. Unlike discs, they rely on Sony maintaining the PlayStation Store servers. If the store ever shut down in the future, you would lose access to your entire digital library. It‘s rare, but online media stores have closed before like Nintendo‘s DSi Shop. Physical games remain playable as long as you own the disc.

So in summary – digital game pricing, storage limitations, slower internet, and lack of lending, trading and ownership flexibility are key drawbacks. Casual gamers may happily accept those compromises. But for hardcore players wanting maximum value and access to their game library, the PS5 Digital Edition could fall short.

What do you think? Does going all-digital appeal to you, or do you prefer retaining the benefits of physical discs? I‘d love to hear your thoughts!