PS5 Digital Edition is extremely hard to pre-order — here’s why

(Image credit: Sony)

Despite living in an age of digital media, the PS5 Digital Edition appears to be in much shorter supply than the disc version. 

Finding a pre-order for either PS5 console has been tricky, especially as some retailers appeared to jump the gun and opened up pre-orders for the PS5 earlier than expected and very suddenly. But a source in a UK retailer has tipped off Eurogamer that there are far less Digital Edition PS5 consoles available.

While both models have proved to be hugely popular, there’s been a major demand for the Digital Edition. It's arguably the better looking console, as the lack of a disc drive gives it a slimmer profile. And at $399, it’s a lot cheaper than the $499 standard PS5. 

However, the retailer source said that there was only 25 percent stock of the Digital Edition compared to 75 percent stock allocation for the disc drive-sporting console. Another source claimed there was a 20 percent to 80 percent ratio split. This is not just a U.K. retailer quirk, as in the U.S. stock allocation of the Digital Edition ranged as low as 13 percent. It did get as high as 33 percent, accruing to Ars Technica

With streaming and digital editions of games having exploded in popularity over the recent years, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect there to be equal amounts of vanilla and Digital Edition PS5 consoles to be available. But this appears not to have been the case, even though Sony gave not hint that the Digital Edition would be in shorter supply. 

Tom’s Guide editor-in-chief Michael Andronico has been after a Digital Edition PS5 but noted that they appear to be selling out the fastest. However, he’s not had any luck on securing a pre-order for either PS5 version. 

The PS5’s design may have divided opinions at Tom’s Guide, but we appear to mostly agree that a Digital Edition is probably the way to go. And given the high demand for the Digital Edition, we’re surprised that there’s not equal availability for it and the disc version. 

A cynic would argue that Sony is trying to get people to buy the disc-based PS5 as it’s making $100 more per unit than the Digital Edition. There’s speculation that the Digital Edition may have been priced as low as it is — undercutting the $499 Xbox Series X — in response to the $299 Xbox Series S, which may be cheaper but is less powerful. 

Sony has yet to comment on the situation, though it has apologized for the pre-order mess. More pre-order stock for both consoles is expected, but they are likely to sell out fast. So make sure to check our PS5 pre-order guide to put yourself in the best position to secure a PS5 when it is released on November 12. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.