With this holiday season comes a new console generation, and it is proving to be one of the most confusing in recent memory. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series heavily promote backwards compatibility with their previous consoles the PS4 and Xbox One via the disk drive and digital purchases, but there is a big caveat, as the consoles are launching in two tiers.

Both the Xbox and PS5 are launching with multiple versions, a budget tier and a standard tier, both the standard tiers come with one big difference that isn’t just the price tag: a disk drive. That’s right, if you want to continue enjoying borrowed games from the library, friends, and family, you will need to splurge for the standard tier of console to do so. As of yet there is no external disk drive you can buy for the budget tiers, and there’s been no indication that it will come. Please keep this in mind when on your hunt for the next console if you plan to continue using the library to check out your games!

In addition to the lack of a disk drive, the budget tier of Xbox contains a smaller storage drive, and while you can connect an external USB storage device, you can’t run PS5 or Xbox Series X games off them like you could in the previous generation. This is due to the emphasis on quick storage access to reduce load times. Lastly, the Xbox Series S is a bit slower than the Series X, while the tech specifications are the same on both versions of the PS5, with the only difference being lack of a disk drive.

Lastly, be careful shopping for these consoles on the secondary market. Many scam listings are popping up selling just the box or even just a photo of the consoles, for well above the MSRP price. Advice from the manufacturer is to wait until the stock stabilizes in the coming months rather than buy it aftermarket. Also, be careful when buying an Xbox, as the names are very similar to their last generation of consoles, the Xbox One X and Xbox One S and many unlucky individuals have accidentally purchased this console instead of the new one.

Feature Comparison Sheet
PS5 Digital Edition PS5 Standard Edition Xbox Series S Xbox Series X
Name PS5 Digital Edition PS5 Standard Edition Xbox Series S Xbox Series X
MSRP $399 $499 $299 $499
Disk Drive No Yes No Yes
Height Vertical 15.35 inches 15.35 inches 10.8 inches 11.85 inches
Height Horizontal 4.25 inches 4.25 inches 2.5 inches 5.94 inches
Usable Storage* 667.2 GB 667.2 GB 364 GB 802 GB
Purchasable Storage Expansion? Not yet Not yet yes yes
*Usable storage is the amount of estimated free space left after system updates before games are installed, and is subject to change with updates.

The library Technology Department has big news regarding Minecraft. Watch the video to learn about it!