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Sony finally revealed its PlayStation 5 console hardware in the week , and while the console design will undoubtedly be labeled divisive, the important surprise was Sony’s plans for 2 PS5 models. There’s a PS5 Digital Edition which will ship with an equivalent hardware specs because the main model, without the 4K Blu-ray drive. Sony didn’t mention pricing for either variant, but the PS5 Digital Edition will obviously be priced below the model with the optical drive. It sets Sony up for a stimulating price competition against Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.

Microsoft has long been rumored to be preparing to launch two next-gen Xbox models. The Xbox maker has already revealed the Xbox Series X, but a second, cheaper Xbox (codename Lockhart) has also been within the works. Like Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition, the Lockhart model is probably going to ship without an optical drive, but it’s also expected to incorporate changes to a minimum of the memory configuration and GPU inside that make it less powerful than the Series X.

Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition doesn’t directly counter Microsoft’s rumored plans, but it does offer the corporate some leverage around pricing for the PlayStation 5. albeit a 4K Blu-ray drive doesn’t structure an enormous amount of the value of next-gen consoles, it should equate to roughly a $50 price cutting , because of the drive costs and associated licensing charges. Price may be a huge think about this next-gen console phase, particularly as it’s clear we’re close to enter one among the worst recessions for many years . Any small price savings might be key, especially if Sony and Microsoft are willing to stretch their usual losses on hardware to aggressively chase after game sales and subscriptions.

The PS5 Digital Edition eliminates the optical disk . But it also means Sony takes its cut on every game someone buys through its digital store. Sony hasn’t addressed whether it plans to permit people to loan games to friends digitally or maybe resell digital games, both of which could drive digital sales of games if they’re not supported.

Microsoft has already been experimenting with digital Xbox editions and even the thought of sharing games digitally. The software giant introduced a disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital Edition for $249 last year, shaving $50 off the Xbox One S retail price. It’s been a well-liked choice, especially as numerous games now require large updates and wish to be installed to a drive. Microsoft even originally planned to let Xbox One users share any games digitally, but a backlash over the used games policies and online check forced the corporate to reverse most of its brighter plans.

Console pricing is simply a neighborhood of the broader next-gen price competition , though. As we enter this next generation of game consoles, it’s clear storage and digital games are getting to be much more important than before. Sony is requiring that each one games be installed to the interior SSD to form use of the improved read speeds, and therefore the Xbox Series X internal SSD are going to be required for Series X Optimized games.

How Microsoft and Sony expand storage on their next-gen consoles couldn’t be more different. Sony has opted to permit PS5 owners to expand storage using SSD drives that meet its spec for performance. It’s not clear what percentage drives will even meet this baseline at launch, but it does mean PS5 owners will have greater storage options eventually.

Microsoft has gone the proprietary route, partnering with Seagate to supply 1TB expansion cards that slot into the rear of the Xbox Series X. We don’t skills much these cards will cost or whether other drive makers are going to be ready to create Xbox Series X expansion cards within the future. These storage costs will factor into the entire cost of ownership, whether you choose a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X later this year.