The True Cost of a PS5

The True Cost of a PS5

The PS5 has been out for over three years and just like the Xbox Series X, it’s a great gaming machine. For US$449 or US$499 (depending on whether you get the Digital Edition or not), the PS5 can let you play the latest titles in 4K; meanwhile, an equivalent gaming PC might cost double the PS5’s price tag. However, while PS5 Digital is US$449 and the standard PS5 is US$499, that’s just the cost of the console itself—there are still a lot of other costs to consider, including extra controllers, storage upgrades, a headset and, of course, actual games to play. Taking all that into consideration, I have calculated the true cost of owning a PS5.

SSD upgrade: From $100

Out of the box, the PS5 has a built-in SSD that comes with 1TB of storage, but around 848 GB of that is usable to you. And with game file sizes getting larger (the average PS5 game is around 50GB) because of better graphics with 4K visuals, the internal SSD can fill up fast. Sony included an extra M.2 SSD slot, though, which you can use to install an additional SSD of up to 8TB.

According to Sony, there are a couple of requirements for compatible SSDs. They need to be a PICe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD; have a storage space of between 250GB and 8TB; have a width of up to 25MM, a length of up to 110MM, and up to 11.25MM thickness; use the Socket 3 (Key M) socket type; and have a heatsink. The M.2 SSD should have a read speed of up to 5,500 MB/s or faster.

One SSD recommendation from Sony is the WD_Black SN850X, which works with PS5, has up to 7,300 MB/s read speeds, is available in up to 4TB and starts at US$109.99. If you need even more storage space (about 8TB), there’s the Corsair MP600 PRO LPX M.2 SSD, which has similar specs to the WD_Black and starts at US$59.99 for the 500GB model and up to US$849 for the 8TB option.

Wireless Headset: From $99

A good headset is always a great addition to any gaming setup for a few reasons. One is that if you plan on playing any multiplayer games, you’ll need a headset with a mic for voice chat. The other reason is that you can easily channel your game’s audio through your headset, which is perfect for late-night gaming sessions.

There are lots of headsets for the PS5 to choose from, but if you want an affordable one that also works with Sony’s Tempest 3D AudioTech, opt for the Pulse 3D wireless headset. For US$99, the headset supports 3D audio, refined earpads for better comfort, noise-cancelling mics and up to 12 hours of battery life.

Another DualSense Controller: From $69

The PS5 comes with Sony’s latest controller, the DualSense. For US$69, the DualSense controller for PS5 improves upon the DualShock controllers before it with improved haptic feedback and dual actuators instead of the usual rumble motors. There are also Adaptive Triggers, which adjust the level of tension when you press them down. For example, you might feel like you’re drawing a bowstring back or slinging a web like Spider-Man. The controller comes in multiple colors, offers a reasonable 12 hours of battery life and has a built-in microphone for voice chat and “Hey PlayStation!” voice commands.

If you’re looking for a more “pro” controller, there’s the DualSense Edge controller. For US$199, the DualSense Edge offers the same features as the standard one but you also get interchangeable back buttons, changeable stick caps, adjustable trigger lengths and re-mappable buttons.

PlayStation Plus: From $79 per year

If you plan on playing a lot of multiplayer games, you’ll want a PlayStation Plus subscription. With your membership, you get access to online multiplayer, monthly games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for your saves, access to the Sony Picture Core store that lets you rent and buy Sony films, and share play, which lets you share your screen with a friend so they can take over the game.

Sony offers a few different tiers for PlayStation Plus. For US$79 per year, the base tier called Essential includes all the PlayStation Plus features listed above. Moving up to the Extra membership for US$134.99 per year, you get the same benefits as Essential but you also get access to Game Catalog, which has 400 PS4 and PS5 games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Uncharted 4. You also get access to Ubisoft+ Classics in the Extra tier, which includes a curated selection of Ubisoft games from the Far Cry, The Division and Assassin’s Creed series.

The final subscription tier of PlayStation Plus is Premium. For US$159.99 per year, you get the same benefits as the Extra tier but you also get cloud streaming, which lets you try out select games from the PlayStation Plus catalogs without waiting for them to download. You also get Game trials, which lets you try out some newer games on a limited-time basis.

It’s worth noting that all the PlayStation Plus membership plans are available as either a monthly, three-month, or 12-month/yearly subscription.

DualSense Charger: From $29

Keeping your controllers charged is critical, especially for a long gaming session. There are a few chargers available that make it easy to keep your DualSense controllers at full battery—the PlayStation DualSense Charging Station, for example. For US$29, the charger has slots for two DualSense controllers and doesn’t require the use of a USB port on your PS5; you instead plug the charger into a wall outlet.

If you only have one DualSense controller, an alternative charger is the Razer Quick Charging Stand for PlayStation 5. For US$38, Razer’s charging station has a curved cradle design that holds your controller in place while it charges. The charger also comes in multiple colors—black, blue, pink, purple, red, and the standard white—to match your DualSense controller.

PS5 Exclusive Games: From $70

While this latest generation of consoles brings better graphics, it also brings a higher standard price for games. Most new PS5 games, whether they are first-party like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 or third-party like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, are US$70 at launch. There are still physical versions of most PS5 games, so if there’s a new game you’re eyeing, just wait a few months and the price will drop below the US$70 launch price.

If you have the digital PS5, you’ll have to wait until that game goes on sale on the PlayStation Store. However, if you have the new digital PS5 (i.e., the current slim one with the new design), Sony is selling a Disc Drive add-on for your PS5 Digital Edition for $79.

The true cost of the PS5:

Once you total everything up, it works out to be US$904 for the PS5 Digital Edition with a 1TB SSD upgrade, a headset, a second DualSense controller, PlayStation Plus, a charger, and just one PS5 game—and US$954 for the standard PS5 with those same extras. That’s not even factoring a 4K TV if you don’t already have one, which can add another US$300 to US$400 to the cost.

Some retailers might offer bundles that include the console plus a game or two, headset, and extra controller for a slightly cheaper cost than buying all the items individually.

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