PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S – how do they compare?

The showdown of the digital consoles begins here

PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S. Image shows the PS5 Slim and the Xbox Series S on a green gradient background.

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Sony and Microsoft’s digital-only consoles go head-to-head once again with the PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S. It’s been three years since the launch of the Xbox Series X and the PS5 digital, and it seems that home consoles without a disc drive are surely here to stay. While the choice between the two was already a difficult one, the competition gets a new lease of life following the recent release of the PlayStation 5 Slim – the streamlined re-design of the PS5.

In this comparison article, we’ll delve into the key aspects of each console, including features, specs, and price, to help you make an informed decision. Digital consoles are now a firm part of the gaming industry, so the real decision comes down to choosing either PlayStation or Xbox – especially with each device having impressive hardware and a library of exclusive titles.

PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S: specs

PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (slim)

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SpecsPS5 Slim (digital edition)Xbox Series S
Dimensions17 x 14 x 5.25 inches; 8.96 Pounds11.5 x 14.17 x 5.04 inches; 4.25 Pounds
CPUCustom 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2, up to 3.5GHz (variable frequency)Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2 7nm, 3.6GHz (3.4GHz with SMT)
GPU10.3 teraflops, variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz4 teraflops at 1.550GHz 
RAM16 GB GDDR610 GB GDDR6 
Frame rateUp to 120fpsUp to 120 fps
ResolutionUp to 8K1440p with 4K upscaling 
Storage 1TB NVMe SSD 512GB NVMe SSD 
ControllerDualSense ControllerXbox wireless controller
PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S specs table

PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S: the ultimate showdown

So, let’s explore the features of these two next-gen consoles one after the other, including their design, specs, performance, and price.

PS5 Slim (Digital Edition)

Design

The PS5 Slim (digital edition) is a sleek and compact console that offers a fully digital gaming experience. It features the PS5’s signature minimalist design with clean lines and a white color scheme, making it a visually appealing addition to any gaming setup. The absence of its disc drive gives it an even slimmer and more streamlined profile. Additionally, gamers actually have the option of purchasing the disc drive at a later date, for $79.99. This gives gamers the flexibility of owning both a digital and disc-playing console, which isn’t offered by any other device on the market.

Furthermore, an exciting preview from Sony at CES 2024 showed a trio of colorful faceplates that will soon be available for the PS5 Slim. The stylish silver, red, and blue covers will allow users to personalize their console from its original glossy white, and offer also a lineup of DualSense controllers to match.

One of the other standout features of the PS5 Slim (digital edition) is its support for 3D audio. By utilizing built-in TV speakers or analog/USB stereo headphones, players can enjoy immersive sound that enhances their gaming experience. The console also offers backward compatibility, allowing you to download supported PlayStation 4 games on the PS5 Slim (digital edition), and get access to a wider library of PlayStation family titles through purchasing a PlayStation Plus subscription.

Specs and Performance

Under the hood, the PS5 Slim (digital edition) undeniably packs a powerful punch. It’s equipped with a custom CPU that features 8x cores clocked at 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz with SMT), ensuring smooth and responsive gameplay, even during demanding moments. The GPU, a custom RDNA 2 chip, delivers stunning visuals with its 4 TFLOPS and 20 CUs clocked at 1.565 GHz, making 4K gaming a breeze.

In terms of memory and storage, the PS5 Slim (digital edition) offers 10GB of GDDR6 memory with a 128-bit-wide bus, providing ample bandwidth for fast and efficient data transfer. The console features a custom NVME SSD, with options for either 512GB or 1TB storage capacity. However, it’s important to note that a portion of the SSD is reserved for system software and other functions, so the available capacity may vary – realistically you get about 825GB of usable storage.

Xbox Series S

Design

The Xbox Series S is another compact and stylish console that focuses on delivering gamers a digital gaming experience, as opposed to the traditional disc-reading device. It features a sleek design with a minimalistic aesthetic, blending seamlessly into any gaming setup. The absence of a disc drive gives it a slim and compact form factor, whilst staying true to Xbox’s signature clean lines and modern aesthetic. Despite both consoles lacking the disc drive element, as expected, the dimensions of the PS5 Slim digital version still towers over the Xbox Series X, standing at 17″ compared to the 11″ of the Xbox. While the PS5 might have slimmed down, it doesn’t achieve the compactness of the Xbox Series X.

Aside from its design, one of the unmissable features of the Xbox Series S is its seamless integration with Xbox Game Pass. With this subscription service, players gain access to a vast library of games, including day-one releases. This allows gamers to discover and enjoy a wide variety of titles without the need to purchase individual games.

Specs and Performance

Under the hood, the Xbox Series S boasts impressive specifications that significantly outperform what would usually be expected of its price point. It is powered by a custom CPU with 8x cores clocked at 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz with SMT), and the GPU, a custom RDNA 2 chip, delivers stunning visuals with its 4 TFLOPS and 20 CUs clocked at 1.565 GHz. What all this translates into is a console that is extremely powerful, but that’s not specifically designed for 4K gaming. The Series S was made with 1440p 60fps in mind and 1080p 120fps in mind, which for $299 is exceptionally reasonably priced – you can’t even get a comparable PC build for less than $700.

In terms of memory and storage, the Xbox Series S offers 10GB of GDDR6 memory with a 128-bit-wide bus. This ensures fast and efficient data transfer, resulting in smoother gameplay. The console features a custom NVME SSD with options for either 512GB or 1TB storage capacity.

PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S price

The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S provide budget-friendly next-generation options, priced at $399.99 and $325 respectively. Both the pared-down PS5 and 512GB Xbox aim to make advanced gaming technology more accessible to players not requiring or wanting disc drives in their consoles.

Sony and Microsoft have competitively matched the prices of these all-digital machines in hopes of attracting gamers more concerned about affordability rather than maximum performance. For those looking for a deal on cutting-edge gaming hardware and that are unconcerned with physical media, the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S offer compelling values.

Is the PS5 Slim (digital edition) better than the Xbox Series S?

In the battle of PS5 Slim (digital edition) vs Xbox Series S, both consoles offer compelling options for gamers looking to enter into the next generation of gaming. The PS5 Slim (digital edition) impresses with its support for 3D audio and sleek design, while the Xbox Series S shines with its Xbox Game Pass subscription service and affordable price. Ultimately, the choice between the two consoles depends on your personal preferences and priorities: so, choose wisely and embark on an exciting gaming journey with your preferred console.