With the recent releases of the pricing for the new PS5 models, fans were both relieved and confused. The prices are lower than the device’s components might have led us to believe, and this is doubly true for the digital edition. It’s this digital-only version of the console that has us so intrigued, in that it seems to indicate a push for Sony in a new direction.
The Digital Edition Cost
Having a cheaper edition of a base console isn’t unique, having played a strong part in the 7th and 8th generations. What is unique, is the sort of pricing that Sony has sought. At $399, the digital edition is far cheaper than the disk-based version, which retails at $499. The kicker? Installing a Blu-ray drives on this scale couldn’t cost the company more than $10 a unit.
Buying a standard external Blu-ray drive today costs around $20 on the lower-end. Factor in the economies of scale that Sony would experience with operating in bulk, and the reduction of the price through having their own brands and processing lines, and the real cost would be much lower. This begs the question of why a console missing this feature would cost $100 less.
Change the Future
The movement of the entire entertainment industry towards the digital landscape has hardly been a subtle one. With lower possible costs and far-greater convenience than with physical options, the choice in terms of convenience is simple. This is a trend seen across the industries.
Industries like online casinos have known this for years, leveraging their systems into greater value for the customer. For example, all the best PA online casino bonuses here like deposit matches and bonus cash simply aren’t possible for physical casino setups. Similar ideas can be seen on television shows like Hulu and Netflix and their sales, or in music with Spotify’s specials. However, a lowering of costs to Sony is just the start. Ultimately, they’re betting that the move of players towards the digital-only space will result in improved long-term engagement numbers and eventually higher monetary rewards.
By their nature, digital systems require online purchases for players to acquire games. It just so happens that the best sales on Sony’s PSN platform are locked behind their online service. In essence, on top of the game purchase, you have to purchase a monthly subscription for the potential to save the most. This gets Sony’s monthly infusions of cash and makes its online marketplace all the more appealing.
The final part of this puzzle is in the used-games market. Despite being a big part of video games for decades, game reselling has never been loved by most developers and publishers. After all, no matter many times players sell a single game to each other, the people who made the game only get paid once. Remove disks as an option, and buying new copies becomes a necessity.
Making Your Choice
The idea of the digital PS5 seemed too good to be true, and for some users, it might be. For the rest of us, it could be worth considering running some maths before you choose this model over the standard. Consider how much money you saved buying physical copies of games second-hand this gen. If it’s less than $100, then the PS5 digital edition might be worth the cost. If it’s more than $100, then it might be better to instead buy your next-gen system with the long-game in mind.