The PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S. both ask an unusual question: what if a next-generation console didn’t have to cost an inordinate amount of money? While the fully featured PS5 and Xbox Series X. costs $ 500 each, both companies also offered a cheaper alternative. Sony has the PS5 Digital Edition: a $ 400 console without a drive, but otherwise identical to the PS5. For Microsoft, there’s the Xbox Series S: a $ 300 fully digital console that’s optimized for Quad HD output rather than UHD.
The PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S don’t exactly meet the same requirements, but they both share the same idea: a cheaper alternative to budget next-gen consoles. So it̵
With that in mind, let’s see how the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S stack up in terms of price, specs, game selection, and more.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Technical Specifications
One of the easiest ways to compare the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series X is to discuss their specs. In general, the PS5 Digital Edition is more powerful, but here is the full breakdown:
|PS5 Digital Edition||Xbox Series S.|
|price||400 dollars||300 dollars|
|processor||AMD Ryzen Zen 2, 8-core, 3.5 GHz||AMD Ryzen Zen 2, 8-core, 3.6 GHz|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RDNA 2, 10 teraflops||AMD Radeon RDNA 2 GPU, 4 teraflops|
|R.A.M.||16 gigabytes||10 GB|
|camp||825 GB SSD||512 GB SSD|
|resolution||Up to 8K||Up to 1440p|
|Frame rate||Up to 120 fps||Up to 120 fps|
If you were wondering why the Xbox Series S is $ 100 cheaper, you can see that it is mostly technical. While the Xbox Series S actually has a slightly more powerful CPU than the PS5 Digital Edition, the GPU, RAM, and storage are weaker. As a result, games will run at lower resolutions. And while the maximum frame rate is the same, we can assume that the Xbox Series S will not generally achieve the same frame rates as its Sony competitor, especially with new and demanding games. (The frame rate depends on a system’s processor, GPU, and RAM.)
None of the systems can play physical media such as game discs or Blu-rays. Both systems can load and render games incredibly quickly thanks to state-of-the-art SSDs, and the GPUs of both systems support ray tracing for subtle lighting effects.
The comparison becomes a little difficult when we move away from the “specs” and try to measure the “performance”. While a system’s specifications define its performance, it is often about how hardware pieces work together, rather than just measuring raw performance. Until we get our hands on both the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S, it’s almost impossible to tell how each game will perform in real-life conditions.
Still, we can definitely say that the Xbox Series S uses less powerful hardware than the PS5 Digital Edition for the most part. We can also say that less powerful hardware generally means lower resolutions and frame rates. The PS5 Digital Edition is arguably a little more future-proof than the Xbox Series S, especially for gamers with 4K TVs.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Price
The easiest point of comparison between the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S is their prices. The PS5 Digital Edition is priced at $ 400. The Xbox Series S is $ 300. The Xbox Series S is undoubtedly cheaper. What is not clear is which system ultimately has the better value.
As mentioned above, the Xbox Series S uses less powerful hardware than the PS5 Digital Edition. This is not a surprising or controversial statement. This is the main reason the Xbox Series S is cheaper. (It’s the same price as one Nintendo Switchand cheaper than an Xbox One X.) If you’re not into great graphics or don’t have a 4K TV at all, the Xbox Series S seems like a good value. Otherwise, the PS5 Digital Edition might be worth the extra $ 100.
One thing to keep in mind, while a bit speculative, for the foreseeable future, every Xbox Series X game will be available on the Xbox Series S too. However, as the console generation progresses and games become more sophisticated, the Xbox Series S may not be able to play absolutely every Xbox Series X game.
Microsoft didn’t say anything about it, and I have no particular knowledge on whether this could happen. But I know that as consoles get older, developers tend to squeeze them for the last bit of processing power, and the Xbox Series S doesn’t have as much as the Xbox Series X. The PS5 Digital Edition, on the other hand, has exactly the same specs as the full-fledged one PS5. Just something to note.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Games
As far as we know, the PS5 Digital Edition can play every single PS5 game. The Xbox Series S can play every single Xbox Series X game. This should be the case for the foreseeable future. So the game selection argument here is the same as for PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Do you want to play Spider-Man, Ratchet & Clank and Final Fantasy, or do you want to play Halo, Hellblade and Forza? Since there is no right answer there, potential buyers have to decide for themselves.
A bit more interesting, however, is the problem of backward compatibility. Both the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S are backward compatible with many previous generation titles. The only question is how far back this compatibility goes.
The PS5 Digital Edition will be compatible with many PS4 games, although we don’t have a full list just yet. (Current reports Set the number to 99% of the PS4 library, so hopefully that’s true.) The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, is backward compatible with every single Xbox One game, as well as a wide variety of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
There’s a big catch in both cases though: in order to play backward compatible games, you’ll need to own digital copies. Since neither the PS5 Digital Edition nor the Xbox Series S have a drive, you won’t be able to play games that you physically own unless you buy them again as digital versions. Both the regular PS5 and Xbox Series X have drives. So if you have a large physical collection, just having access to your old games might be worth the premium.
The Xbox Series S also has an extra fold, and it’s a complicated one, so take it with you. In a way, the Xbox Series S. less powerful than the current generation Xbox One X. As a result, the Xbox Series S cannot play Xbox Series X-optimized games at full 4K resolution, high frame rates, improved texture quality, etc. This may not be a huge problem as the Xbox Series S isn’t an ideal accessory for 4K TVs anyway, but it’s worth pointing out. The PS5 Digital Edition has no such restrictions.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: who are they for?
While I can’t prove this until we see some sales for the two devices, I don’t think the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S will appeal to the exact same buyers. The price difference is significant, as is the variance in hardware. At the risk of fortune-telling, the PS5 Digital Edition appears to be aimed at more dedicated gamers who are just willing to give up physical media, while the Xbox Series S is aimed more at casual fans who just don’t need electricity. or cost – a full-featured Xbox Series X.
The PS5 Digital Edition is identical to the PS5 except for the lack of a drive. This means that when you buy, you want to take advantage of the UHD resolution, fast frame rates, extensive storage, and more. The audience for the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition is exactly the same, in other words, regardless of whether they want to use discs or digital downloads.
On the other hand, the Xbox Series S is significantly less powerful than the Xbox Series X, and Microsoft made no secret of it. Someone who puts their heart on the powerful Xbox Series X experience is unlikely to be swayed by the Xbox Series S. For casual gamers, however young players For gamers who don’t own 4K TVs, there’s really no reason to spend $ 500 on an Xbox Series X when an Xbox Series S does the job just as well.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Subscriptions
One final thing to consider is that both the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S will exist as part of larger subscription-based ecosystems: PlayStation Plus for the former and Xbox Game Pass for the last one. Both services have undergone significant overhauls in the past few months and are likely to do so by the time the next generation consoles launch.
We recently learned that PlayStation Plus ($ 10 a month or $ 60 a year) is allowing gamers to download a slew of PS4 classics, including Bloodborne, God of War, and Until Dawn. Xbox Game Pass ($ 10-15 per month) lets players download more than 100 Xbox titles, including Gears 5, Wasteland 3, and Sunset Overdrive.
The big difference between the two platforms is that Xbox Game Pass also gives players access to new X / S titles from the Xbox series on the day they become available. the PS Plus collection seems to be exclusively backward-looking at least for now.
In general, the Xbox Game Pass appears to be an important part of the Xbox Series S strategy, while Sony likely expects most PS5 Digital Edition customers to buy games a la carte one at a time. It’s worth considering whether you’d rather own a small library of games or rent a large library indefinitely.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Outlook
It’s difficult to directly compare the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S as they appeal to different audiences. The PS5 Digital Edition is intended for gamers who are looking for the latest and greatest in hardware without physical media. The Xbox Series S is for gamers who want to compromise hardware while they can still access a collection of great games.
Since we haven’t tested either system first hand, we will withhold recommendations for the time being. Just remember, you’ll have to live with less powerful hardware if you choose the Xbox Series S and an additional $ 100 upfront if you choose the PS5 Digital Edition.