Why I ordered the digital only PlayStation 5

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about which next gen console to get. I’ve owned every PlayStation released and tend to gravitate more towards their exclusives (Uncharted is one of my favourite series of all time) but have owned the original Xbox and 360 mainly for Halo.

I’ve also been thinking about whether I need a disc based system or not. I’m also on a budget so I’m price sensitive this time around.

So first off PS5 vs Xbox?

This isn’t a general comment, it’s me specifically. Watching both keynotes again I’m just more interested in the variety of games that PS5 offers me. Aside from a love for PS exclusives like God of War I like that there is a huge selection and a big variance in the types of games on the system. Looking over at Xbox it’s only really Halo I’m missing out on.

Pricing

On seeing the £359 digital price I jumped to order. Less than £400 was my budget for a next gen and with PS5 at this price it was a no brainer for me. I know Xbox Series S is £100 cheaper but I don’t get a console anywhere near as powerful as the PS5 and I don’t get 4K HDR. This is where PS5 is going to hurt Xbox I feel, I don’t see the disc version selling as many units as digital.

3 reasons

When it came down to it there were three reasons for me ordering the digital version.

Streaming services

When I’ve had PlayStation in the past they have been used to play DVD’s but these days I think I own maybe 3 blu-ray’s and no DVD’s. I watch all of my content streamed via the Apple TV, be it Disney+, YouTube or iTunes. I have no reason to own anything that plays discs from a movie perspective.

Keeping the PS4

We are going to keep the PS4 Pro around so we make sure that we have our older non PS5 compatible ones and there is a disc player for emergencies. My daughter has a couple of disc based games she still plays so given I probably wouldn’t get much on trade we’ll keep it around. It also gets used for PSVR and I’m not sure how compatible the accessories are with PS5.

Online discounts

All of the games I’ve bought in last few years have been digital. I’m inpatient which doesn’t help and I like to play on day one. I also like to use my PSN membership to get the free monthly games and any discounts. I’ve found now that I wait a few months and even the top tier games get discounted.

So here are my reasons, what are you looking to do?

PlayStation 5 pricing

I was pleasantly surprised at the cost of the PlayStation 5. £359 for the digital version seems the sweet spot for me at least. £449 gets you a blu-ray drive but I can’t remember the last time anything went in our PS4.

I’ll wait until I see the actual game release schedule before ordering but at the moment the plan is to keep the PS4 Pro and then add a PS5 digital only to our collection.

Thoughts?

How much will the PlayStation 5 cost?

With the Apple keynote and Mandalorian trailer now done we can move onto guessing the PS5 pricing. That’ll be announced officially today but it’s fun to speculate.

Microsoft went early and to be honest with their game pass monthly payment deal I can’t see Sony touching them and will only offer a buy it now price.

My best guess is disc based version with one controller £599 and digital version £449.

The PS online is ok but they also need to throw in PS Now if they want to compete.

I’m very interested to see what happens but at this point I’m looking over at that £28 a month Xbox Series X plan.

Fall Guys PC benchmark

Fall Guys (when you can connect to a game) has been a great little escape and with my PS4 running into WiFi issues again it’s got me thinking more about getting a gaming PC. Matt’s been doing some great work over on his YouTube channel at benchmarking games, check out the video here.

Fall Guys need to sort their server issues out

I’m not sure if this is a PS4 issue but around 70% of the time I’ve tried to play over the last couple of days I cannot find an online game to play on. I get a server timeout issue after waiting a minute or so. The way I’ve been fixing it is to come out and go back in but that’s stopped.

If the developers want this game to have staying power they need to sort these issues out. People won’t stay if they can’t play.

Is F1 2020 better than F1 2019?

I’m a huge F1 fan and have enjoyed the yearly updates to the codemasters series of games. As with any game that updates yearly on the same theme it’s always hard to know whether or not to spend the £60 on the latest update.

For me, F1 2020 is the best iteration of this franchise yet.

The handling model is improved, graphics improved and the ‘my team’ feature is worth it alone. You can now create, manage and drive in your team and it’s been a lot of fun.

If you haven’t tried one of these games yet then this is the most accessible. If you are a fan then the ability to create your own team is a major factor to upgrade.

So, yes F1 2020 is better than 2019 and in fact any of the other ones in this series.

Apple cuts itself off from the future of gaming

I can see some reason behind this move but wow what a miss. Streaming games in my opinion is blatantly the future of gaming and to not have it on your platform is a big mistake. A large proportion of people wanting to play games in the future aren’t going to want to buy a new console every few years, let alone the £60 for every game. I’ve been a gamer since the 80’s and even I’m holding back with the price of entry.

This is on top of not allowing Microsoft xCloud highlights the worry I have about Apple’s hubris that like the Jedi in the Star Wars prequels might end up being their downfall.

It might seem wild to say this but young people coming into the market will be swayed off a platform for this kind of reason. iPhone and iPad will be the devices your folks use, like Facebook has become to the younger generation. This really is a chance for Android, they need to capitalise on it and start heavily marketing to the younger generation.

I’ve been excited about these streaming gaming platforms and even as an iPad guy I’m starting to hold back on any future purchases in the Apple ecosystem if we are going to see moves like this.

If I were Microsoft I’d be looking at moves to take Minecraft off iOS, if they want to fight fire with fire.

This is a move Apple absolutely has to review internally but I don’t see changing.

Given Apple Arcade is a thing this may also not help their anticompetitive case but I won’t go any further on that one here.

I’m hoping Apple review this, my next devices may be Android ones.

Breaking the Animal Crossing habit

When Animal Crossing came out I was obsessed and it was a nice escape from the world around me. What I’ve found in the last week though is I put my Switch in the drawer and stopped playing. I’d developed a habit of once I’d gone for my early walk I’d play animal crossing for an hour before starting my work day. It was becoming a grind for me and almost a habit, I’d actually stopped enjoying playing it. I’d mindlessly walk around my island picking fruit and flowers then selling them to make bells to pay off my mortgage!

I’d stopped playing and being creative but it turned into something that felt a chore.

I’m glad to see Nintendo are bringing in the option to go diving and I’ll probably dip (sorry) back in to check this out but for the most part I think I’m done.

Don’t get me wrong I very much enjoyed my time and it was a great distraction from the state of the world in 2020 but I won’t be hooked in every day grinding away.

What does the PS5 look like?

Wow, this thing looks wild. I’ve been a fan of PlayStation since the original and always loved the design (yes, even the PS3) but this is something else. Love the white and black contrast and that controller looks great. Good to see the relaunch of the media controller and the digital only release alongside is a smart move. I could see it being a bit fragile with those thin edges but we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

Check out the video here.