Although the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S are cheaper, all-digital versions of the standard PS5 and the Xbox Series X, respectively, both consoles have notable differences. The PS5 Digital Edition retains the power of its disc-equipped counterpart, but the Series S trades top-of-the-line specs for a wallet-friendly price tag. Let's dive into a meaty comparison between the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S.
- PS5 vs. PS5 Digital Edition — Which one should you buy?
- Xbox Series X vs. PS5: Which console is right for you?
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Xbox Series S||PS5 Digital Edition|
|CPU||8x Cores @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU||8x Cores @ 3.5GHz Custom Zen 2|
|GPU||4 TFLOPS, 20 CUs @ 1.55 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU||10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs @ 2.23 GHz Custom RDNA 2|
|RAM||10GB GDDR6||16GB GDDR6|
|Storage||512GB SSD||825GB SSD|
|Resolution||Target 1440p, 4K upscaled||Target 4K, up to 8K|
|Frame rates||Target 60FPS, up to 120FPS||Target 60FPS, up to 120FPS|
|Controller||Xbox Series S controller||DualSense|
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: How are they similar?
Let's start with the similarities between the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S. First, both consoles do not feature a disc drive. This means you will not have the option to play Blu-ray discs or enjoy physical copies of games.
If you own a PS5 Digital Edition console, you'll have to download games from the PlayStation Store. With the Xbox Series S, you'll have to download games from the Microsoft Store.
The PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S are also more affordable than their flagship counterparts. The Digital Edition PS5 has a $399 price tag, which makes it $100 less than the $499 disc-equipped PS5. The Xbox Series S costs $299; it's $200 cheaper than the $499 Xbox Series X.
Now let's talk specs. The PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S both offer ray-tracing capabilities, a cool rendering technique that produces realistic lighting effects.
Sony and Microsoft both use "4K" as a buzzword to entice gamers to purchase their consoles. The PS5 Digital Edition can reportedly run native 4K games at 60 frames per second. The Xbox Series S will feature 4K upscaling, which attempts to mimic 4K resolution by increasing the pixel count of lower-resolution material. Of course, upscaled 4K content certainly doesn't look as good as native 4K content. Natively, the Xbox Series S can play 1440p games at 120Hz.
When it comes to processing power, both consoles have an eight-core, custom Zen 2 CPU, but the Xbox Series S has a slight advantage over the all-digital PS5 when it comes to CPU clock speed. Let's dive into important differences between the two.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: How are they different?
The PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S are both budget-friendly, all-digital alternatives to their pricier siblings, but don't let these similarities fool you. Both consoles are unique and appeal to different crowds. Let's break down the differences by price, specs and design.
Price: PS5 Digital vs Xbox Series S
Yes, the $399 PS5 Digital Edition is more affordable than its $499 disc-equipped counterpart, but Sony did not make it cheaper because it's less powerful than the standard PS5. In fact, the Digital Edition has the same specs as its disc-equipped counterpart — the sole reason for the cheaper price tag is the absence of a 4K Blu-Ray drive. See our comparative specs chart between the PS5 Digital and PS5 below for reference.
|Header Cell - Column 0||PS5 Digital Edition||PS5 Standard Edition|
|GPU||10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz||10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz|
|GPU architecture||Custom RDNA 2||Custom RDNA 2|
|Memory/Interface||16GB GDDR6/256-bit||16GB GDDR6/256-bit|
|Storage||Custom 825GB SSD||Custom 825GB SSD|
|Performance target||4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 and 8K||4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS and 8K|
|IO throughput||5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)||5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)|
|Expandable storage||NVMe SSD Slot||NVMe SSD Slot|
|Optical Drive||None||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive|
Microsoft, on the other hand, slapped a $299 price tag on the Xbox Series S because, yes, it is less powerful than the Xbox Series X. The $499 Series X has a GPU that's three times more potent than its cheaper counterpart. The Series X also has 6GB of more RAM, which means that it can handle multitasking processes better than the Series S.
It's also worth noting that the Series S has only 512GB of storage compared to the Series X's 1TB of storage. This won't be enough if you play storage-hungry games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which requires over 200GB of storage. On the plus side, the Xbox Series S has a slot for a 1TB expansion card. See our comparative specs chart between the Xbox Series S and Series X below for reference.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Xbox Series X||Xbox Series S|
|CPU||Custom AMD Zen 2 8-core @3.8GHz (3.66GHz with SMT)||Custom AMD Zen 2 8-core @3.66GHz (3.4GHz with SMT)|
|GPU||AMD Navi RDNA 2 with 52 CU @1.825GHz||AMD Navi RDNA 2 with 20 CU @1.565GHz|
|GPU Power||12.15 Teraflops||4 Teraflops|
|RAM||16GB GDDR6||10GB GDDR 6|
|Memory bandwidth||10GB at 560 GB/s, 6GB at 336 GB/s||8GB at 224 GB/s, 2GB at 56 GB/s|
|Storage||1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD||512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD|
|Expandable storage||1TB Proprietary expansion card, USB 3.2 HDD support||1TB Proprietary expansion card, USB 3.2 HDD support|
|I/O Throughput||2.4 GB/s (raw), 4.8 GB/s (compressed)||2.4 GB/s (raw), 4.8 GB/s (compressed)|
|Disc drive||4K UHD Blu-Ray||None|
|Performance target||4k 120fps, 8K 60fps||1440p 120fps|
|Backwards compatibility||Xbox One and supported Xbox 360 and Xbox games||Xbox One and supported Xbox 360 and Xbox games|
Specs: PS5 Digital vs Xbox Series S
Let's compare the specs of the two all-digital consoles. Packed with a 4-teraflop GPU, the Xbox Series S has less than half the graphics power of the PS5 Digital Edition's 10.28-teraflop GPU. The PS5 Digital Edition also has 16GB of memory compared to the Series S's 10GB of RAM. Out of the box, the PS5 is equipped with 825GB of storage while the Series S only has 512GB of storage. Interestingly, the Series S's processor is 0.1-GHz speedier than the PS5's 3.5-GHz CPU.
The Xbox Series S has a performance target of 1440p resolution at 120 fps and supports 4K upscaling. The PS5 Digital Edition, on the other hand, has a performance target of 4K resolution at 60 fps and supports 8K upscaling.
Design: PS5 Digital vs Xbox Series S
The PS5 Digital Edition looks similar to its disc-equipped sibling, but thanks to the absence of an optical drive, it has a sleeker form factor. It has a sci-fi, futuristic vibe with a black core sandwiched between a white shell. In my opinion, the PS5 looks like a Dubai skyscraper that a tech CEO would live in. The PS5 Digital Edition has dimensions of 15.3 × 3.6 × 10.2 inches and it weighs 8.6 pounds.
Some say the Xbox Series S looks like a washing machine with its circular black grille and white slender body.
According to Microsoft, the Xbox Series S is 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X. Its dimensions are 5.9 × 2.6 × 11 inches and it weighs 4.3 pounds.
Who is the PS5 Digital Edition for?
The $399 PS5 Digital Edition is for folks who want an all-digital library. You'll still get all the power that the disc-version PS5 has, but you're limited to digital downloads. If you have physical copies of PS4 games that you'd like to test on the PS5, the standard PS5 console is the best option for you.
The PS5 Digital Edition is also for those who don't mind spending an extra $100 to snag a machine that is far more powerful than the Xbox Series S. Lastly, the PS5 Digital Edition is optimal for gamers who prefer PlayStation exclusives like the beloved The Last of Us series.
Who is the Xbox Series S for?
The $299 Xbox Series S, like the PS5 Digital Edition, is for folks who don't mind having an all-digital experience. It's also for those who cringe at the thought of spending $500 for a console, and they're fine with sacrificing some GPU power, storage, native 4K resolution support, RAM, and of course, a disc drive.
Still, you can experience a slice of the next-gen experience with the Series S's ray tracing capabilities and solid-state drive, which should help cut back on load times.
Lastly, if you are partial to Xbox exclusive,s such as Halo: Infinite, you should consider getting the Xbox Series S.
The $399 PS5 Digital Edition will hit store shelves on November 12 while the $299 Series S will be available on November 10. The PS5 is currently accepting pre-orders (if you can snatch one in stock) and pre-orders for the Xbox Series S will go live on Sept. 22.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!