Retailers around the world opened pre-orders for the two PlayStation 5 models this week. The standard edition will retail for $100 / £90 more than the Digital Edition ($400 / £360), which shares the same hardware specs but does not include a disc drive.
However, VGC reported on Wednesday that stock for the Digital Edition console was expected to be significantly lower than the standard version worldwide, per our publishing sources.
Since our report, the Digital Edition console has appeared to sell out far quicker than the more expensive PS5 model at many retailers including Amazon UK, where pre-order lasted around 5 minutes (this could, in theory, be due to increased demand).
Asked to comment on VGC’s report by Japanese site AV Watch (translated by VGC), Jim Ryan would not comment on the ratio of Digital to standard consoles but said Sony would monitor demand and adjust production accordingly.
“The ratio between the Digital Edition and the disc drive model is currently something we cannot disclose at this time,” he said. “We cannot give specific information on numbers, but we can say that we plan to produce the necessary number of units to meet the demand for that model type.”
He added: “However, we’ve never produced two different console models at the same time before so deciding on the right number and the right ratio is very hard to know. We are doing our best to predict demand.”
Many retailers sold out of PlayStation 5 pre-orders within hours this week. However, some firms such as Walmart and Game UK have told those looking to secure a console to do so via their physical stores.
PlayStation had considered a lower-spec PS5 console similar to Xbox’s Series S, but feared it would quickly become obsolete, Ryan said.
“The first thing I would like to say is that I respect every competitor’s decision and their philosophies,” he said.
“Clearly, price is a very important factor. We respect other companies’ competitive strategies. However, we are fully committed to and believe in our current strategy and the effect it will have.
“One thing that can be said is that if you look at the history of the game business, creating a special low priced, reduced spec console is something that has not had great results in the past. We’ve considered that option and seen other executives who have attempted this discover how problematic it is.”