While the PlayStation 5 has already proven hard to come by in general, it seems that the Digital Edition of the console is harder to find than the Standard Edition. According to Eurogamer, retailers around the world are reporting that they received fewer Digital Editions, and those sold out quicker, as a result. It's not hard to see why demand might be higher for the Digital version; at $399, it's $100 cheaper, with none of the trade-offs that the Xbox Series S has compared to the Xbox Series X. In an interview with Japanese website AV Watch (translated by VGC), PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan discussed the shortage.
“The ratio between the Digital Edition and the disc drive model is currently something we cannot disclose at this time,” Ryan told AV Watch. “We cannot give specific information on numbers, but we can say that we plan to produce the necessary number of units to meet the demand for that model type.”
“However, we’ve never produced two different console models at the same time before so deciding on the right number and the right ratio is very hard to know. We are doing our best to predict demand.”
While Microsoft has previously offered a digital only console, this is the first such model for PlayStation. As such, it's not hard to imagine that Sony really didn't know what kind of demand to expect for the Digital Edition. There are a lot of pros and cons related to digital versions of video games, and it remains to be seen how the PlayStation audience will adapt to some of the demands related to digital gaming. While the console itself is cheaper, buyers might be forced to look into options for more memory, and there isn't be an option to sell off or trade-in purchased games.
With both Sony and Microsoft pushing digital models this year, it will be interesting to see what impact it has on the industry as a whole. Digital versions of games have grown in popularity over the last few years, but there are still a lot of gamers that prefer physical releases. Even as indie developers embrace the digital model out of necessity, publishers like Limited Run Games continue to produce physical releases for previously digital exclusive games. It's clear that there's still a heavy demand for these types of offerings, so time will tell if digital and physical can continue to co-exist.
Which version of the PS5 are you planning on buying? Do you prefer physical releases or digital? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!