The Sony PlayStation 5 is finally here. With powerful specifications, cinema-quality graphical effects, support for higher resolutions and refresh rates, and the brand-new DualSense controller, the PS5 is without a doubt one of the most significant advancements in modern gaming. But at a whopping $499 MSRP, it’s also significantly more expensive than the previous generation PS4 and PS4 Pro.
Read on as we take a closer look at the PlayStation 5 and PS5 Digital Edition to see how they stack up, what sorts of games you can play, and whether you should upgrade.
Table of Contents:
- PlayStation 5 Price
- PS5 vs PS4 Specs and Features Comparison
- PS5 vs PS4 Performance
- PS5 Game Library
- PS5 DualSense Controller
- PS5 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback
- PS5 vs PS4 in 2020 and beyond
PlayStation 5 price and release date
The PlayStation 5 release date is November 12, 2020. This is approximately two months after the PS5 pre-orders began (September 17, 2020). The PlayStation 5 price is $499 for the standard edition (with Blu-ray drive) and $399 for the PS5 Digital Edition (without optical drive). In contrast, the PS4 launched in November 2013 and retails for $299 (as low as $159 on Swappa), and the PS4 Pro released in November 2016 at $399 MSRP (as low as $215).
To put things in perspective, you can pick up a gently used PlayStation 4 on Swappa for about a third of the price as a brand-new PlayStation 5 — all while being able to play pretty much all the same games. But price isn’t the whole story, so let’s take a deeper dive into how these consoles all stack up.
PS4 vs PS5 specs and features comparison
Make no mistake — the PlayStation 5 is an absolute spec sheet monster. Packing the very latest AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU and AMD Radeon RDNA 2 GPU, the PS5 has more than enough processing power to handle today’s and tomorrow’s games at 4K resolution and high refresh rates. But how does this compare to the PS4 and PS4 Pro?
|PlayStation 4||PlayStation 4 Pro||PlayStation 5|
|AMD Ryzen “Zen2”|
Up to 3.5GHz
|GPU||AMD Radeon “Liverpool”|
|AMD Radeon “Neo”|
|AMD Radeon “Oberon”|
RDNA 2 Architecture
Ray Tracing Acceleration
Up to 2.23GHz
|Graphics Power||1.82 TFLOPS||4.20 TFLOPS||10.28 TFLOPS|
|System Memory||8GB GDDR5 RAM|
|8GB GDDR5 RAM|
|16GB GDDR6 RAM|
|Storage||500GB or 1TB SATA|
|825GB PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD|
5.5GB/s Read Bandwidth (RAW)
Up to 100GB/disc
Up to 100GB/disc
|Ultra HD Blu-ray|
Up to 100GB/disc
|Video Out||1080p 60Hz TVs|
|4K 60Hz TVs|
|4K 120Hz TVs|
8k 60Hz TVs
HDR and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
|Audio||AMD TrueAudio||AMD TrueAudio||“Tempest” 3D AudioTech|
|Dimensions||PS4: 288mm (h) x 39mm (w) x 265mm (d)|
PS4 Slim: 288mm (h) x 39mm (w) x 265mm (d)
|327mm (h) x 55mm (w) x 295mm (d)||PS5: 390mm (h) x 104mm (w) x 260mm (d)|
PS5 Digital Edition: 390mm (h) x 92mm (w) x 260mm (d)
|Release Date||PS4: Nov 22, 2013|
PS4 Slim: Sep 15, 2016
|November 10, 2016||November 12, 2020|
|MSRP||PS4: $299 (as low as $159)|
PS4 Slim: $299 (as low as $210)
|$399 (as low as $215)||PS5: $499|
PS5 Digital Edition: $399
PS5 vs PS4 performance
The PlayStation 5 is an absolute beast when it comes to raw computational power, eclipsing the original PlayStation 4 and even besting the souped-up PS4 Pro. The PS5 offers a whopping 10.28 TFLOPS of graphical performance, which is considerably higher than the 1.82 TFLOPS offered by the original PlayStation 4 and the 4.20 TFLOPS on the PS4 Pro. This puts the PS5 much closer to a modern, high-end gaming PC in terms of raw computational power than any previous-generation game console.
What is a TFLOP?
Graphics power is measured in units called teraflops (TFLOPS). This represents the number of operations that a computer or game system can execute within one second, with 1 teraflop being equivalent to 1 trillion floating-point operations per second. The higher the better — and this directly translates into greater resolutions and frame rates, while simultaneously allowing developers to implement new and innovative graphical effects.
The PS5’s extreme computational power means that it’s able to run games at higher frame rates (smoother motion) and at a higher 4K resolution (sharper) than the original PS4. However, the PS5 isn’t the only console capable of 4K gaming. The PS4 Pro also packs enough muscle to run games at 4K resolution and higher frame rates than the original PlayStation 4 — so the differences between the PS4 Pro and PS5 aren’t nearly as significant.
Ultimately, it comes down to how much you want to spend on the absolute best visual effects. The PS5 is certainly faster than the PS4 and PS4 Pro — but at over triple the cost, it better be! If you’re looking for a cheaper point of entry into 4K gaming with high details and high frame rates, the PS4 Pro is a better option. Plus, you’ll have enough money left over to buy games and accessories so you can actually play on your game console.
PS5 launch titles and game library
What good is a game console if there are no games to play? High profile game system launches are always accompanied by a handful of launch titles, and the PS5 is no different. There are five first-party launch titles that have been enhanced for the Sony PlayStation 5:
- Astro’s Playroom (Japan Studio) – pre-installed on PS5
- Demon’s Souls (Bluepoint Games / Japan Studio) – $69.99
- Destruction All Stars (Lucid Games / XDEV) – $69.99
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Insomniac Games) – $49.99 (Ultimate Edition: $69.99)
- Sackboy A Big Adventure (Sumo Digital / XDEV) – $59.99
In addition to Sony’s first-party titles, there are a few games by third-party developers with PS5-specific enhancements:
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (November 13)
- Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
- Just Dance 2021
- Observer: System Redux
In addition to these 11 launch titles, there are currently 151 games slated to be enhanced or updated for better performance and graphics on the PS5 within the next two years.
Needless to say, the PS5’s game library isn’t exactly jaw-dropping. Instead, the PS5 relies on PS4 backward compatibility to fill in the gaps. PS5 Game Boost technology means that supported PS4 games will run at higher frame rates and resolutions — similar to what you could already get with the PS4 Pro — just with a fancy new name and even greater visual fidelity. But even though the PS5 is backward compatible with the vast majority of PS4 titles, not every single title is supported.
In contrast, the PS4 has a massive library of nearly 3,000 games — and Sony has already committed to delivering fresh, new games to the PS4 and PS4 Pro for years to come. Since you’re most likely going to be playing the same exact games, why not spend a fraction as much and pick up a gently used PS4 or PS4 Pro instead? Alternatively, wait a couple of weeks for the PS5 hype train to settle down and pick one up at a substantial discount on Swappa.
PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller
The PlayStation 5 comes with an innovative new controller called the PS5 DualSense Controller. This is a significant evolution to the PS4 DualShock 4 controller, and it’s one of the most compelling reasons to get a PS5.
The PS5 DualSense controller increases immersion by replacing traditional rumble force feedback with a more nuanced haptic feedback system. In addition, DualSense features adaptive triggers that are able to dynamically adjust their resistance and tension levels in order to simulate the varying weights of real-world objects such as accelerator pedals in racing games, firearm trigger pulls in first-person shooters, and much more. All-in-all, the DualSense is a great addition, and perhaps the most “next-gen” of the PS5’s lengthy feature list.
PS5 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback
Ever since the PlayStation 2 hit store shelves 20 years ago, many have used Sony PlayStation game consoles as an all-in-one audio/video entertainment hubs. This trend continued with the PS3, which was frequently used as a DVD and Blu-ray player. The PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro took things a bit further by also offering support for a great number of streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and much more.
Just like the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the PS5 also supports Blu-ray playback and online streaming video. However, the PS5 steps things up a notch with support for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. So if you’re looking for the absolute best quality Blu-ray playback and you have a matching 4K TV, the PS5 is the way to go. On the other hand, if you simply want to watch standard-definition Blu-ray discs or if you have a 1080p TV, the PS4 and PS4 Pro are just as good.
Note: The PS5 Digital Edition lacks an optical drive, and thus cannot play Blu-ray discs.
PS5 vs PS4 in 2020 and beyond
The PS5 is an amazing console with top-notch specifications and features. It ushers in a new era of gaming, with support for 4K resolution, high refresh rates, real-time ray tracing, and more. And thanks to the updated DualSense controller, the PS5 is able to offer a more immersive experience in optimized titles.
But the PS5 isn’t perfect — with only 11 launch-week titles and just 151 games slated for release in the next two years, you’ll probably spend most of your time playing PS4 games. And with a $499 launch price, you’re paying roughly three times as much as you would for a gently used PS4 on Swappa.
Pick up a gently used PS4 (starting at just $159) instead, and put the $340 savings towards games and accessories — or just pocket the difference! Alternatively, if you need 4K resolution and higher frame rates, pick up a PS4 Pro for just $215 and save $285 compared to a brand-new PS5. But if you’re still set on getting a PS5, wait it out a few weeks and get one on Swappa for less. And while you’re waiting, learn everything you need to know about the PS5.
Whichever game console you choose, you’ll always find the best deals on Swappa. Our safe and easy-to-use marketplace cuts out the middlemen to save you money. Buy with confidence because every listing is screened by our expert moderation team before it goes live.