PlayStation 5 Digital Edition or Xbox Series S?

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Sony and Microsoft’s latest consoles landed several months ago and stock from both manufacturers’ have dwindled from an excessive demand for systems.. Without the luxury of options, you may find yourself resorting to the stripped-back versions to scratch your next-gen  gaming itch. So which are you considering, the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (DE) or Xbox Series S?  

Long story short, until supplies replenish we have a period of time to properly weigh up which system is best suited for you. Just to add to the confusion and indecision, both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X offer a more affordable, simplified version of the system. Like our comparison between the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite, we will look at the most important categories for making a decision.

Considering how easy it is to get bogged down in details, we will be highlighting the key similarities and differences. Although it must be said, each system is almost entirely unique to the other excluding a few key hardware similarities. Otherwise, check out this updated breakdown of the two systems. 


The first thing many people will consider before making a purchase is what the systems will cost in relation to what they offer. The quickest and easiest distinction to make between the two consoles is how much you can expect them to set you back.

Prices may vary slightly depending on where you look but the Xbox Series S clocks in at a very reasonable £249 ($299), a significant reduction to the Series X’s £449 asking price. The PlayStation 5 (DE) comes in at £359, reduced from a similarly priced £449 for the standard PlayStation 5.

The Series S is undeniably the more economical option with a cheaper RRP and a heftier reduction to the fully-fledged X series but does that make it the better choice? 

Internal Tech and Specs 

This is where things can get a little complicated, so I will try to stick to the main points and keep it straightforward.

The Xbox Series S and PlayStation 5 (DE) are both digital-only consoles, this means that they can only be used to play downloaded digital media and no disc tray is included. The internal hardware is where the small list of similarities begins and ends.

While they both come stocked with a Solid State Drive (SSD) for faster loading, neither is particularly generous in regards to memory capacity. The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition comes with 825GB while the Xbox Series S provides a measly 512GB. The PlayStation 5 (DE) offers more memory, but considering current-gen games can range from 50GB to over 100GB, this is hardly a victory for Sony.  

The two budget consoles feature eight-core AMD CPUs but the PlayStation 5 (DE) shares the same hardware as its disk tray big brother. Its GPU has 36 CUs and runs at 10.28 TFLOPS with 2.23GHz. The Xbox Series S on the other hand contains a GPU that features 20 CUs, running at 4 TFLOPS at 1.565GHz. Simply put, both systems are significant upgrades on the last generation but the PlayStation 5 is comparable potentially to modern gaming PCs.

Graphics Output and Resolution

All of this information might seem like pointless jargon but ultimately it means that the two consoles will perform to a certain level of proficiency and be able to output a particular graphical resolution.

The PlayStation 5 (DE) with its superior hardware supports 4K at 120Hz up to 120 frames per second (fps). It is also ‘future-proofed’ with the ability to support 8K resolutions when that technology becomes available at a later date. The Xbox Series S is also capable of 120 Hz and 120 fps but is capped at a significantly lower 1440p.

This means that the Xbox Series S looks and plays wonderfully on current high-end entertainment systems but may begin becoming outdated in a couple of years. Whereas most current home systems might not take full advantage of the PlayStation 5 (DE) yet but will be a top-performing system for years to come.  


With every console generation, one of the biggest comparisons to make revolves around the new controllers. A console can have all of the bells and whistles but a faulty controller that feels clumsy to hold can ruin it all.

Sony has completely redesigned the design and experience of their new ‘DualSense’ controller with a series of new immersion features. One of which is the addition of adaptive triggers alter pressure resistance depending on the in-game situation, like pulling back the string of a bow.

Another incredible feature is haptic feedback, which means the controller rumble adapts to your actions and surroundings. This means the controller not only reacts to things like explosions and collisions but also changes in the environment and textures on the ground.

Stocked with a new ‘Create’ button and an improved battery to its Dualshock predecessor, the DualSense is truly state-of-the-art.

If you were a fan of the Xbox One controller, then you will not be disappointed with the Series X/S controller. It is effectively the Xbox One controller, with improved grip and a ‘Share’ button. Unfortunately, this marks the third generation of the controller to require AA batteries providing you do not front the extra cost for a rechargeable battery pack.

If it is not broken, do not fix it, right? One cool feature though is controllers of the current and last-gen are completely compatible across the systems. Perhaps because they are all the same? This means local multiplayer is potentially a lot cheaper in the long run. 


Which will you buy, PlayStation 5 (DE) or Xbox Series S? While the two systems will be undoubtedly compared by buyers, given their digital-only statuses, but they are very different systems, intended for different audiences.

The Xbox Series S presents the most affordable but incremental route to next- generation gaming. It is a significant improvement on the Xbox One but compared to the PlayStation 5 (DE), the hardware and graphical capabilities cannot be compared. 1440p is very impressive, but the PlayStation 5 (DE)’s 4K and 8K potential is unmatched.

The Series X/S controller will be a familiar sight to current Xbox One users, which is potentially a good thing. Whereas the PlayStation 5 (DE) controller launches users headfirst into the next generation with its adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.

Although it looks like the PlayStation 5 (DE) is the obvious winner, it ultimately depends on which suits you. If you intend on playing a smaller, select number of titles that will look fantastic on your HD TV, pick up the Series S and save yourself a sizeable amount of money. However, if you want that premium next-gen experience and happy to front the extra cost, the PlayStation 5 (DE) is your best choice. If you want to see a similar comparison of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, we’ve got you covered!