A low-spec PS5 is something that could have happened, according to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan.
Recently, Ryan sat down for an interview with Japanese publication AV Watch. Ryan noted that a low-spec PS5 was something that PlayStation had considered, but decided it would be more of an issue than not.
Leading Sony to decide that keeping the specs on both versions of the console the same was a better move. The only differences between both PS5 models is the disc drive, the slightly slimmer build of the digital edition, and the price. The PS5 costs $499 while the PS5 Digital Edition costs $399.
A low-spec PS5 probably wouldn't have had good results
While Microsoft has gone all in with its Xbox Series S and its lower specs due to some advanced engineering magic to get it to perform nearly as well as the Series X, Sony believes that a PS5 with lower specs wouldn't have had good results.
According to Ryan, this hasn't worked well with consoles in the past. So ideas for a less powerful version of the PS5 were taken off the table entirely.
Ryan isn't saying that low-spec consoles haven't been successful. Rather he's specifically referring to a special, low-performing version of a console that initially comes with higher performance.
"If you look at the history of the game business, a special low-priced, reduced spec console is something that has not had great results in the past," Ryan said. That isn't to say that the Xbox Series S isn't going to sell well.
More than likely it will do very well. Especially considering it's supposed to offer the same quality of graphics for $200 less than the Series X. Sony however felt that this wouldn't work for its own console.
A lower-end model might not have lasted as long
It isn't just about the potential lack of success. Ryan also stated that a lower-end model of the PS5 might not have lasted as long.
Specifically that the longevity of those types of consoles is usually not on par with the regular model. Ryan doesn't mention which past consoles fall into this less successful camp.
But regardless of that Sony feels that the same specs on both versions of the console will help them both keep their longevity for years to come. At least until the next generation of consoles comes out and people look to upgrade again.
The PS5 went up for pre-order on September 16 from Sony's major retail partners. All stock seems to have been depleted for now, but some have been restocking. More stock could pop back up again before the launch on November 12 too. So keep your eyes peeled.