4 Things to Consider When Buying a Digital-Only Console

Digital-only consoles have been round for some time, however solely now are they rising in popularity with customers.

These days, these consoles include spectacular specs whereas saving you $100 or extra from buying a console with a disc drive. However are they price shopping for in 2022? Right here are some things to think about earlier than your buy.

What Is a Digital-Solely Console?


white xbox series s on black background

Digital-only consoles do not have disc drives and depend on the buyer to buy video games from an internet retailer, which they then carry on the console. These gadgets are dimensionally smaller, as they needn’t waste area with a disc drive or one other bodily recreation slot. It is a massive plus for portability if it is a handheld console.

Again in 2009, PlayStation launched a digital-only version of its common handheld, the PlayStation Transportable; the PSP Go. The PSP Go was forward of its time with a smaller, extra transportable design and loads of fascinating equipment corresponding to an AV cable to view video games on a tv, it supported DualShock 3 controllers, in addition to expandable storage on high of the 16GB of flash reminiscence already accessible.

Though PSP Go video games had been just a few hundred megabytes every, it took a very long time to obtain video games, and customers weren’t used to buying video games solely by way of an internet retailer.

Digital-only consoles corresponding to these have their professionals and cons, however those that make the swap appear to like their techniques.

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Why You Ought to Select a Digital-Solely Console


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There are a lot of professionals to buying a digital-only console over one with a disc drive.

One professional of digital-only consoles is the worth. On the time of writing, the 2 hottest digital-only consoles are the PlayStation 5 Digital Version and the Xbox Collection S. Sony’s PlayStation 5 Digital Version is $100 lower than the disc drive PS5, at $399, and comes with the identical efficiency specs, together with the 825 GB SSD and highly effective GPU and CPU.

The Xbox Collection S is a fair higher deal at $299—$200 lower than the Xbox Collection X. One massive distinction right here is that the Collection S outputs video games as much as 1440p, whereas the Collection X can output video games as much as 8K. The Collection X additionally has higher processing energy and bigger cupboard space.


If you do not have a big assortment of bodily video games from a earlier console, and already love and depend on recreation streaming companies corresponding to Xbox Recreation Cross, then a digital-only console can be good for you. This implies no wasted area within the leisure heart on bodily recreation circumstances, nor needing to promote video games if you’re uninterested in taking part in them.

Associated: Causes Why You Ought to Get Xbox Recreation Cross

What to Suppose About Earlier than Shopping for a Digital-Solely Console

Though there are a lot of professionals to gaming on a digital-only console, there are some things you must be mindful earlier than diving in.

1. Onerous Drive House


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Whenever you purchase a digital-only console, you may obtain each single recreation you need to play, which makes the quantity of reminiscence accessible on the console essential. For instance, the Xbox Collection S has a 512GB SSD, however the working system takes up round 148GB of area, leaving 364GB accessible for video games.


This may occasionally sound like an honest quantity of storage, however this realistically gives you round 5 video games to maintain in your system directly. Name of Responsibility: Black Ops Chilly Battle will take up 136GB of your accessible area on an Xbox Collection S, so your onerous drive area will refill pretty shortly.

Though the Collection S helps expandable storage, Seagate’s 1TB storage growth card prices an astounding $219.99, which is nearly the worth of the console itself. Realistically, the Collection S and different digital-only consoles with equally sized onerous drives are finest suited for individuals who do not play a number of video games directly, and simply maintain a few their favorites downloaded till they need to play one thing new.

2. Which Recreation Streaming Service Will You Use?


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Among the finest elements of gaming on a digital-only console these days is with the ability to make the most of incredible game-streaming companies.

Xbox homeowners get to make the most of Xbox Recreation Cross, which supplies players entry to limitless video games accessible on the service for $14.99 per 30 days. Recreation Cross even releases a few of its hottest titles, corresponding to Halo Infinite, without spending a dime.

It is a nice deal for individuals who do not need to spend $60 on a triple-A title like this at launch, however need to expertise taking part in it as quickly as potential with the remainder of the gaming neighborhood.

PlayStation affords an identical service. PS Now and PS Plus each provide you with entry to a big number of PlayStation titles.

You are capable of buy video games at full value from an internet retailer without having to pay for considered one of these subscription companies, nevertheless the worth will add up shortly should you purchase even one recreation per 30 days. With recreation streaming companies, you may attempt titles out, and should you do not like them, you are free to uninstall them with out feeling such as you wasted cash.


New video games additionally arrive on these companies month-to-month, so that you’re prone to by no means get bored nor have to browse a bodily online game retailer ever once more.

Associated: Is PS Now Value It? The Execs and Cons of PlayStation’s Recreation Streaming Service

3. Backwards Compatibility


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For many who have an intensive assortment of bodily video games from final era consoles, switching to a digital-only console appears fairly daunting.

PlayStation has tried to treatment this with PS Now. Avid gamers can subscribe to PS Now for $10 per 30 days, giving them entry to PS4, PS3, and PS2 titles. That is nice for nostalgia, in addition to future proofing the digital-only version console for years to come back.

Sony constantly provides new video games from every era of PlayStation consoles, giving gamers a whole bunch of hours of enjoyment and no want for his or her bodily video games anymore.

Xbox homeowners who need to play video games from every era of Xbox can accomplish that with Xbox Recreation Cross, which supplies gamers entry to Xbox One video games in addition to a handful of video games from the Xbox 360 and unique Xbox.

Though digital-only version consoles try to construct worth with the power to play all these video games, this does not repair the issue for these of us who’ve a complete assortment of our favourite bodily video games from the earlier era. There isn’t any assure that the sport subscription service will provide the titles you need, and thus your bodily video games will nonetheless want a spot in your shelf.

Associated: The Xbox Collection X and S Function Superb Backward Compatibility

4. Costs of Bodily Video games


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One factor to remember is how the costs of bodily video games can differ.

For instance, subscribing to Xbox Recreation Cross offers you entry to an incredible number of video games for a low month-to-month price, however what if there is a recreation you simply came upon about that you simply’d like to play, however is not accessible on the service? Your solely choice shall be to purchase it on Xbox’s on-line retailer.

Relying on the sport, it could possibly be the identical value it launched for, round $50, regardless of it being launched for just a few years. If you happen to had been to verify Amazon, you could discover it accessible for half the worth for a bodily model. Proudly owning a digital-only console would imply you may should accept shopping for the digital model for far more than the bodily copy.

One other state of affairs that may come up is with preorders. Preordering a digital recreation could give you some unique DLC, however preordering the bodily version will include extra fascinating bodily perks corresponding to an artwork e-book and different restricted version goodies for followers of the franchise for the same value.

Shopping for a bodily recreation additionally means you personal it, and also you’re capable of promote it or lend it to a buddy: issues that you could’t do with digital video games. Issues like these are extra necessary to some individuals than others, nevertheless it’s good to remember.

Ought to You Purchase a Digital-Solely Console?

Now’s nearly as good a time as any to leap into the digital-only console market. Recreation streaming subscription companies are a incredible deal and online game corporations understand how necessary it’s to maintain homeowners of its digital version consoles blissful.

Recently, digital-only subsequent era consoles, such because the Xbox Collection S, can be found to buy whereas their disc drive counterparts will not be, and is probably not for months to come back. They’re extra reasonably priced, smaller, and are an incredible addition to dwelling leisure facilities.

If you happen to’re in search of your subsequent console and all of the above sounds good for you, then now could be the time to purchase.


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