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Why you should save $ 100 and get the fully digital version of the PS5



We don’t have to live in Covid Nightmare World ™ 2020 to know that $ 400 is better than $ 500. The one just announced PlayStation 5 The prices were exactly what everyone expected: $ 500 (£ 450, AU $ 750) for the version with the integrated optical drive and $ 400 (£ 360, AU $ 600) for the “digital”

; version – which just means that the optical version is skipped ride. After covering every game console launch since the Sega Dreamcast, I’m confident in my advice to save the extra $ 100 and go for the disc-free version.

That’s when you can find one of the PS5 consoles. PS5 pre-orders started earlier than expected and sold out almost immediately. However, additional pre-orders may go online and stock is limited on November 12th.

I’ve been pushing for game consoles to drop the optical drives since at least 2013although I am aware that there are strong feelings on the other side as well. After all, it was scandalous when the very first MacBook Air dropped the optical drive In 2008, you’re having a hard time finding a laptop or even a home theater setup with a Blu-ray drive. Try to find a new PC game on a physical CD. I’ll wait.

Since then, every step towards the sunset of an older technology – from proprietary power connections to parallel ports to physical touchpad buttons – has encountered resistance. To be fair, I’m still into headphone jacks on phones, so I’m not all that into component minimalism.

As outlined in our guide to extending the life of your PS4 or Xbox One, the two most failure-prone parts of these consoles are the two old-school mechanical components – the hard drive with rotating platter and the optical drive. PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S are all stored with SSD, so an issue is resolved. Therefore, you should opt for the disc-free versions as well.

The optical drive is the part of your device that is most likely to fail. It’s literally one of the few moving mechanical parts in game consoles. Replacing in current generation consoles means Tracking down certain proprietary parts and in some cases swap out tiny circuit boards. My original PlayStation 4 before it launched in 2013 is still doing great – but recently the optical drive has been confusing and beeping randomly while trying to eject a phantom disc.

Every game on a disc has to be completely loaded onto the hard drive anyway. The disc acts only as a physical authentication key. You do not save hard disk space by using physical disks.

There are very real considerations about environmental impact. Physical games require a plastic disc to be stamped, placed in another plastic box, placed on a truck, driven to a store, and then either sold off the shelf or repackaged and shipped to a consumer.

The disc-free version of the PS5 is $ 100 cheaper. Trust me, this Blu-ray drive is not a $ 100 component …

I am not entirely impervious to the benefits of physical game discs, however. I asked some of my colleagues about their best reasons for the more expensive PS5, and here is what they said:

  • “To watch movies on your Blu-ray discs.”
  • “Listen to CDs.” (Really, @eliblumenthal?)
  • “When you have a lot of PS4 games on discs.”
  • “For buying used games.”

Interestingly, no one cited the inability to download large game installation files, which is a legitimate concern. Not everyone has decent internet access, although that hasn’t stopped its proliferation or 4K video streaming and even disc-based games may require regular patch downloads of several GBs.

The problem with used and used games is a bigger problem as many people cut their game costs by either buying used game discs or reselling their current discs – a system game publisher is always eager to stamp out them as they see no money from the resale market. Forcing an all-digital landscape where only content is licensed, rather than owning a single copy of it, only creates inequality.

For most people, a game console is likely the very last device in the household with a built-in optical drive. There are good reasons why they have disappeared from other tech, and I’m giving you my official OK to pocket that extra hundred dollars and not worry about the FOMO drive.

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