Thanksgiving heralds two terrible terrible life experiences. The first is dealing with in-laws, eating poorly cooked food, and watching a Detroit Lions’ football game because nothing else is on TV. Yuck. The second though comes the day after Thanksgiving. With lines hundreds of people deep all looking to get a 300 dollar laptop or a 15 dollar toaster or (most frightening of all) a Nintendo Wii 2 years after launch. It’s terrifying for both first time shoppers and tiring for survivors of previous Black Fridays alike.
Regardless, if you’re a brave soul there are tons of great deals to snag out there especially for gamers. Huge deals on systems, games (both old and new), and accessories are out there waiting to be snagged for those willing to deal with twenty minutes worth of parking woes and hour long lines at the local big box store. This guide will serve as a resource for the best bangs for your buck and how to survive the experience for first time shoppers.
The Best Deals: PS3
Without a doubt, the most powerful system on the market today is the Playstation 3. It is also the most expensive. Because of this one would assume that it would be easy to find some excellent deals for the PS3 because it has some of the highest amount of wiggle room. Sadly this is not the case this year.
The best deal on the system this time around is at Best Buy. They have an 80 GB PS3 (non-backwards compatible) with Ratchet and Clank Future and the new version of Casino Royale on Blu-Ray for $400. There’s not a whole lot out there for new system buyers. You might want to wait and see what you can potentially get off of Amazon if they post some deals.
Probably the best PS3 deal though is at Radio Shack where you can buy a brand new Dualshock 3 controller for $30. Unlike the other major electronic retailers, Radio Shacks will be pretty empty. On the other hand, Radio Shack may not have a whole lot of these controllers to go around so if you’re interested in it get in early.
The Best Deals: Xbox 360
It seems every retailer has a decent bundle for the Xbox 360. The best has to be at Target with a Free $60 Gift Card. Wal Mart has the arcade unit with a Free Guitar Hero 3 wireless guitar bundle if you don’t mind the arcade unit. Circuit City goes a different route with a free refurbished 20 GB hard drive and free wireless controller with the Arcade Unit. Like I said, everyone has a decent bundle, but these stand out as the best.
There aren’t a lot of deals for accessories. The only decent one seems to be Target has a $15 3 month Live subscription card. Circuit City also has a wired guitar controller for $10. Not a bunch for accessories.
The Best Deals: Other Systems and Accesories
There are no deals on the Wii…. At all. Just getting one is a reason enough to go shopping.
The PSP 3000’s best deal is at Target with just a $20 gift card. If you don’t mind getting a PSP 2000, go grab the Madden Pack at Gamestop with a $30 giftcard. As far as accessories go, Office Depo has the cheapest memory stick a 4 GB Sandisk Duo for $15.
The DS sees two new bundles released an Ice Blue DS with Brain Age and a carrying case and a New Super Mario Brothers branded DS with the game included. Obviously the latter is a better deal then the former. The cheapest bundle is at Wal Mart for $136. Also there’s a bunch of DS crap. Don’t buy any of it unless you need a carrying case at which I suggest the Nakiworld G-Pak. It’s not on sale, but it is great.
The PS2 is the last of the games, and Gamestop is the only place with a decent PS2 deal. It’s a 30 dollar gift card with the slim. Like the DS, there’s a ton of crap to buy for PS2 and for the most part, it’s crap.
The Best Deals: Games
There are tons of great game deals this time around. I’ve picked out the highlights from the big stores. We’ll start with Gamestop. Besides their usual Buy 2, Get 1 Free on all Used Games they have a ton of interesting deals. Samba de Amigo (Wii), Armored Core For Answer (360), Civilization Revolution (DS), and the World of Warcraft Battle Chest all are out for $20. Battlefield Bad Company (360), Guitar Hero on Tour, Guitar Hero Aerosmith (PS3) and Dynasty Warriors 6 are all $30. Call of Duty 4 GOTY and Spider Man: Web of Shadows (360) are at $40 for this sale. Perhaps the best sale is if you buy Rock Band 2 you can get the new track pack for any system for 99 cents. The PS3 and 360 track packs can be uploaded to your system’s hard drive with a special code so that is well worth it.
Best Buy has a few interesting deals. The Simpsons Game (360), Final Fantasy Tactics, and Game Party (Wii) are all $10. DDR Supernova with pad, Turok (360), and Ninja Town (DS) are slightly more at $15. There are a few big titles with Soul Calibur 4 (PS3), Far Cry 2 (360), Tom Clancy’s Endwar (360), and NBA 09 (PS3) for $37.99. Not a whole lot of huge deals, but there are a few interesting games to check out.
At Wal-Mart there are a few interesting games especially for sports gamers and guitar gamers. NFL Head Coach 2009 is $10 for both systems. Additionally you can get a huge amount of the PS2 Guitar Heroes (1-3, 80s) for $50 while you can get GH 2 and Aerosmith for the 360 or GH 3 and Aerosmith for the same price. EA sends a ton of their sports games including Madden 09, NASCAR 09, and NBA Live 09 for $30 for both PS3 and 360.
Target might have the best single game deals this Black Friday. Guitar Hero III, Boom Blox, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway and Burnout Paradise all are $20. Dead Space, Halo 3, Carnival Games, and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise all check in at $30. There are a few $39 games like Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, Mercenaries 2, deBlob, and NBA2K9 that might be worth looking at along with Call of Duty: World at War and Guitar Hero World Tour at $49.
Finally the recently bankrupt Circuit City might have a few deals you may want to grab. They have a ton of $9.99 games like Dead Rising, Conan (360), Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and Cooking Mama DS. The $14.99 games are weaker offerings but Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (360), theWorld of Warcraft Battle Chest, and Need for Speed Carbon might be interesting to you. The $19.99 games are where the best sales are with games like Bioshock (360), Okami (Wii), The Orange Box (360), Cooking Mama: Cook Off, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (DS) might be worth buying.
Like I said at the start of the article, there are some excellent deals to be had. Just make sure you go to bed early before heading out, eat a good breakfast, and be ready to wait in some check out lines. Patience is a virtue especially on Black Friday. Thankfully with the exception of the Wii, you should be able to walk into any store and most of these games and bundles will be readily available for purchase. Happy shopping everyone.