With the latest generation of consoles now upon us, both Playstation and Xbox have released 'digital only' variations of their next-gen consoles, the Playstation 5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S.
For many, myself included - the idea of being able to have all of your games stored on your console's hard drive, rather than gathering dust on a bookcase, is very appealing. However, many naysayers will tell you that there are 2 main downsides of owning a fully digital console: having to pay full price for games & not having enough storage space (for all the games you want).
Although some aspects of this are true, there are ways to circumvent both of these issues. Read on to find out more.
One major concern with 'digital only' consoles is that you can’t grab yourself a bargain on a used game, like you can when owning a console with a disc drive. This is true, however one thing which is commonly overlooked is the fact that you can still make huge savings on the price of digital games.
For Xbox and Playstation, the process is different - but you can get to the same result: a greatly discounted price on your next game. Here's how;
With Xbox you can buy discounted product keys (sometimes referred to as digital key or CD key) - so for example if you were wanting to buy FIFA 22, the RRP on this is £69.99 (on the Xbox Store). However, through the Gaming Deals FIFA 22 page, you can get a product key for less than £50.
Simply click on the deal you want from our comparison page, complete the purchase of the product key from our partner website - once you have the code you can redeem it either from your console or browser.
In your web browser (make sure you are logged into the correct Microsoft account when doing this);
The second way to get discounted games on Xbox is through digital currency discounts. This essentially means buying ‘wallet top-ups’ for a discounted price and then using that currency to buy games - for example a £50 Xbox wallet top up can be purchased on our Xbox digital currency page for £45.99 (at the time of writing).
Navigate to the Xbox Digital Currency page on our site, find a wallet top-up for the amount that you would like to purchase. Go through the purchase process via our partner retailer and redeem in your Xbox account. To redeem the voucher, follow the steps listed above.
Another thing to bear in mind with the Xbox Series S is that you can access more than 100 games via Xbox Game Pass, for a monthly subscription fee, rather than having to buy games outright. This includes many of the ‘high-profile’ releases - for example, November saw Forza: Horizon 5 and GTA San Andreas Remastered both available for free as part of the Game Pass Ultimate subscription. You can pick up discounted Game Pass subscriptions on our Game Pass page. Game Pass Ultimate also gives you access to Xbox Live and EA Play - meaning that you can also buy games that aren’t part of the game pass subscription at discounted prices.
Unlike Xbox, Playstation doesn’t allow for the sale of digital codes via any 3rd party retailers, so if you are buying a digital game from the Playstation store, the only way around paying full-price is through digital currency discounts.
Navigate to the Playstation Digital Currency page on our site, find a wallet top-up for the amount that you would like to purchase - for example a £40 playstation wallet top up can be purchased for £32 (at the time of writing). Go through the purchase process via our partner retailer and redeem in your playstation account. To redeem the voucher, you can do it a few ways;
In a web browser;
On a PS5 console;
You can also redeem a voucher code during checkout by selecting Redeem Codes and Gift Cards from the payment method menu.
On a PS4 console;
Once you have done this, you can then use the money in your PS account to purchase whatever games you want - meaning you are saving a big percentage on the full-price.
*in the example above, you would be saving 20% on any games you purchased.
Like Xbox, Playstation also has its own library of games that you can have access to via a monthly subscription (Playstation Now) - unlike Xbox however, this is a streaming only service, meaning you can’t download full games to your console as you can with Xbox Game Pass. Playstation Plus also gives you exclusive discounts to other games and free games that they add for members each month as well, meaning it is just another way you can save on games on these digital only consoles.
Now that you know how you can grab yourself some discounted digital games, the next argument against fully digital consoles is that you are limited to how many games you can store on them.
To an extent this is true, but it’s also true that you can only store so many games in your bookcase, or in your house before you run out of space.
With the Xbox Series S you get 512GB of storage space - in games terms, this probably means 5-9 games can be stored on the console at any one time, depending on the exact size of each game.
As you can add or remove games at any time, you can always rotate games in and out of your library if you want to make space to install a new game.
If you do however feel that this may be an issue, you can add additional storage to your Xbox Series S with a storage expansion pack, for example if you wanted to to purchase a Seagate Storage Expansion Card 1TB SSD for Xbox Series X | S this would give you the space for roughly an additional 15-20 games.
With the Playstation 5 Digital Edition you get 825GB of storage space as standard, meaning roughly 10-15 games, again depending on the size of the games. This is a significant amount more than the Xbox Series S (however, you are paying around £110 more RRP for the console).
If you still need more than this, again you can add a SSD expansion to your console, the SSDs that are compatible for the PS5 Digital Edition are PCIe Gen 4 M.2 NVMe SSDs and can add up to 4TB storage, these will require a heatsink. Some of the available options are shown below;
If you are someone who flicks between a huge library of games, fully digital consoles may well have their limitations for your needs. However, if you tend to play fewer than 15-20 games at any period of time, digital consoles like the Playstation 5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S should definitely be considered. They offer similar, if not the same performance and spec as their disc-version counterparts at a far more affordable price - besides, who wants that stack of old games lying around the house anyway?
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