Sony and Microsoft decided to do one thing similarly with their consoles this year, and that thing was to create a cheaper version of the flagship console they’ll be selling this year, without a disk drive. So? What’s the big deal?
Think about this… Buying a digital edition console this year locks you out from buying disks for the lifetime that you have the machine. There’s only one way to get the games you want with these consoles and that’s right through the Playstation Store and Microsoft Store. Why bring this up? Mainly because of the device you’re most likely using right now, your phone. You either have iOS or Android, now there have been giant developers like Epic games calling out companies like Apple for monopolistic paywalls within the app store. Apple takes 30% of all app revenue from most games, and for Fortnite, this included every in game purchase. So every time little Timmy spent $10 on V-bucks, he really gave Apple a 30% cut of that $10.
With a Digital Edition PS5 or an Xbox Series S which both do not include a disc drive, you’re getting a significant price difference in comparison to their counterpart with a disc drive, $100 for the PS5 and $200 for the Xbox. Now, Sony and Microsoft are more than willing to take the loss of a few hundred dollars for the box you’re going to be playing the hundreds of games on, those games which you’ll have to exclusively buy through either Playstation or Xbox if you pick up a digital console this Fall.
Personally, I bought the digital edition PS5 mainly because I took a look and realized that I’m not using discs right now with my PS4 Pro, so why waste the $100 on a disc drive I’ll never end up using? But I’m sure it’s going to be interesting explaining to Grandma why she can’t buy me games for my Playstation because they don’t take discs anymore.
It’s going to be interesting if the same conversations around fair online marketplaces take place with Sony and Microsoft and these consoles in particular. One reason I don’t see that happening is because Sony and Microsoft have been drumming up their game services the past couple years, with Playstation Now and Xbox Game Pass, which both are essentially large online libraries of games which gamers pay for monthly access to those titles, some of which are downloadable onto your console while others are available to stream, which eases the process of purchasing new games. Why not stream the game and see if you like it before committing and purchasing it?
I think it’s important to highlight that for the Playstation 5, whether or not you have a disc drive on your console isn’t going to impact the performance of the console, it’s the same box with the same insides. With the Xbox however, if you’re looking for an all digital approach to gaming this generation, you’re going to have to take a hit in the performance category, as the Xbox Series S isn’t going to be as strong as the Series X at its peak.
Whether you’re going with Sony or Microsoft this next generation, I have no doubt that all 4 of these consoles are going to be able to deliver the power that is deserving of a generational leap, however I’m allowed to be biased here and I think Sony took the win ONLY for not producing a weaker console without a disc drive, I respect that.
Let me know what console you’re going to be getting for the next generation! Keep up with ReviewSpot on our social media as well! Thank you!