7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a PS5

PlayStation 5 console

7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a PS5

Originally launching November 12, 2020, Sony’s PlayStation 5 is the successor to the massively successful PlayStation 4. Due to the production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption that event caused in the logistics and shipping of commerce across the globe, the PS5 was originally incredibly hard to come by, with many having to resort to paying hyper-inflated prices for consoles on the secondary market or using online product trackers to hopefully be one of the lucky ones ready to grab a restock at a major retailer. Thankfully, the initial “gold rush” for next-generation consoles seems to have slowed down, resulting in the PlayStation 5 being much easier to upgrade to just as the console is hitting the middle part of its life span. But, there are still some questions to ask before buying a PS5.

With a hefty price tag and plenty of other competition on the market (as well as the purported arrival of Nintendo’s next console in 2025), it’s still perfectly reasonable to be hesitant to upgrade to a PlayStation 5. The PlayStation 4 is still seeing games arrive on the platform as cross-gen releases with the PS5, and the PlayStation 5 is also reportedly getting its own mid-gen upgrade this holiday season. The PS5 is an excellent console with plenty of incredible games only available on the platform, and these are the things you should consider before taking the plunge to upgrade.

1. What is the total cost of upgrading to a PS5?

When considering an upgrade to a next-gen (or, by now, current-gen) console, the price of the hardware is one of the most important determining factors. The PlayStation 5 has a total of 4 different SKUs (more on that below), each of which has its own MSRP (as well as pros and cons). The standard edition of the PlayStation 5 comes in two modes — one with a disc drive and an all-digital version with no disc drive. The standard PlayStation 5 with a disc drive has an MSRP of USD 499.99 or your regional equivalent. Coming in at an MSRP of USD 399.99, the all-digital version of the PS5 is slightly less expensive but lacks the ability to play any physical PS4 discs that a player might already own in their gaming library.

2. Should I get the Slim or the Standard version?

PlayStation 5 Slim console

©Sony PlayStation 5 Slim – Original

Recently, Sony unveiled a mid-generation hardware redesign in the PS5 Slim model. These two new SKUs for the PS5 are slightly smaller in form factor than the standard edition PlayStation 5 but retain almost identical internal components. Additionally, these newer models of the PS5 have the exact same price point as their standard model counterparts. With a somewhat smaller footprint and the same great performance and on-board storage options as the original release of the PS5, choosing the new PS5 Slim model as your potential upgrade would arguably be the ideal choice. Like the standard models of the PS5, the version with the disc drive comes in at USD 499.99 and the all-digital model has an MSRP of USD 399.99.

3. Do I have a large library of physical games on PS4?

A hot-button issue in the world of gaming is the debate between physical and digital media. For those who grew up during the earliest console generations, the concept of getting rid of physical media seems like a bridge too far, just one more step in the direction of a future in which video game preservation is at stake. On the other hand, PC gamers have comfortably been purchasing all of their games digitally for over a decade thanks to digital storefronts like Valve’s Steam service or the Epic Games Store. The lines between PC and console gaming are continually becoming thinner and thinner, so it makes sense for a push toward all-digital media to be the way the industry is heading.

That said, the PlayStation 4 is arguably the last Sony console to have its entire library of titles available both physically and digitally, meaning players who were early adopters of the console likely have a sizable collection of physical game discs for the PS4. With the PS5 having backward compatibility with almost the entire PS4 library, those who still have plenty of PS4 discs should consider picking up a PS5 with a disc drive as their upgrade of choice. Conversely, if someone has a massive library of digital games for their PS4, grabbing the all-digital PS5 will still allow them to play all their old games in addition to every new release title for Sony’s latest console. Ultimately, if you still have plenty of classic PS4 titles in physical format, grabbing the PS5 with the disc drive is a must.

4. Should I wait for the release of the PS5 Pro?

Another option to consider for those still waiting to upgrade to the PS5 is the recent acknowledgment of Sony regarding the release of the PS5 Pro. The PlayStation 4 received a similar console refresh during its life cycle, improving things like performance and resolution to become the definitive edition of Sony’s hardware that generation. The PS5 Pro was finally officially revealed at this year’s GDC after being rumored for over a year, and most industry analysts are expecting the console to arrive during the holiday season of 2024.

While no information is available regarding the PS5 Pro’s price point or official release date, it’s safe to assume that it will feature some changes to its internal components that make it the ideal choice for someone hoping to run the latest and greatest PS5 exclusives at 60fps and 4K resolution. That said, the safe bet is on the PS5 Pro being at least USD 100.00 more expensive than the standard model.

5. What PS5 Exclusive games interest me the most?

With the PS5 now being 4 years into its life span, there are more than two dozen incredible games that are either fully exclusive to the PS5 or only available on next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S (as well as PC). Both Final Fantasy XVI and the second chapter in the Final Fantasy VII remake trilogy (Final Fantasy VII Rebirth) are PS5 exclusive for the time being, as are excellent titles like Housemarque’s Returnal, Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and the incredible Demon’s Souls remake. This year alone has seen the release of two PS5 exclusive titles almost back-to-back with Rise of the Ronin releasing in late March and Stellar Blade coming soon at the end of April. If any of those titles seem like must-play experiences, it’s absolutely worth upgrading to the PS5.

6. Do I plan on sticking with the PlayStation platform?

The prohibitive price point of modern consoles makes it much more likely for players to buy a particular platform and stick with it across multiple generations rather than own all the current consoles. After all, with backward compatibility between a manufacturer’s consoles practically being a must-have feature, it makes sense to stick with one hardware platform and be able to experience an ever-growing library of games on the latest iteration of a console of choice. If your console of choice was the PS4 and you have an existing library of games or even a PS Plus subscription, it makes more sense to stick with the PlayStation platform and upgrade to the PS5 than switch over to Xbox or Nintendo’s hardware.

7. How much Internal Storage do I need?

Speaking of existing PS4 libraries, the PlayStation 5 comes with a standard 1TB of internal storage across all SKUs of the console. While this might seem like a lot, the truth is that game files are getting increasingly large, especially where modern AAA titles are concerned. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to upgrade the PS5’s storage capacity, in both external and internal formats. While PlayStation 4 games can boot up from an external HDD plugged into one of the PS5’s USB ports, all PlayStation 5 games will need to be stored on the console’s internal SSD storage. 1TB of SSD storage will quickly run out, making an upgrade almost a necessity. If planning to upgrade to the all-digital version of the PS5, it’s wise to factor in a planned expense of an extra $100 or $200 to expand the console’s internal storage by 1TB or 2TB, respectively.

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