PlayStation 5 a stark contrast to the Xbox Series X

The PlayStation 5, PlayStation 5 Digital Edition and DualSense controller. (Sony Interactive Entertainment pic)

A distinct PS5 digital edition will ship without a disc drive, though Sony is not yet naming a price or precise release date.

Looking like a sci-fi space helmet, a polo shirt’s pristine popped collar, a table-height room fan or an inverse ice-cream sandwich, the striking white, black, and neon blue PlayStation 5 has made its public bow.

For the first time since the PlayStation 2 era, Sony is launching a new console in a principal colour other than black.

The new console’s design is a stark contrast to the dark, rectangular cuboid design of the Xbox Series X.

Revealed during a June 11 Future of Gaming reel prepared by PlayStation manufacturer Sony Interactive Entertainment, the surprise showing came amid nearly two dozen title announcements and gameplay demonstrations.

Not only did SIE show off its PlayStation 5 product design, but it also introduced a second model, the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

The PS5DE lacks an Ultra HD Blu-Ray Disc drive and is therefore expected to be positioned at a lower price.

The unveiling of two PlayStation 5 models is not without precedent, given that Xbox released a discless Xbox One S All Digital Edition in May 2019.

However, rumours had suggested that it was Xbox which had been preparing to launch its next console generation with two models rather than one: the Xbox Series X (previously codenamed Scarlett) to be accompanied by a Lockhart version.

Like traditional rival Xbox, which is part of the Microsoft empire, the PlayStation 5 does not yet have a set price, nor a release date beyond a Holiday 2020 designation.

It’s also not yet clear whether a discless PlayStation 5 will end up being the true budget-conscious choice, given the costs of buying used, disc-based games versus digital download prices.

Xbox has been very vocal about its subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, which is expected to dovetail very well with not only the existing Xbox One S All Digital but any more competitively priced Xbox Series X model.

Base hardware specifications indicate that the standard Xbox Series X will outclass the PlayStation 5 in most areas of technical performance, save for solid state drive read speeds.

As a result, each console’s exclusive games, features, and services, as well as price and perceived value, is of critical importance.