Hey, it’s that time again, the week where America drops all pretense and reveals itself as the untamed ravenous beast that it truly is. On Thursday we’ll devour turkey and all kinds of starches, rending meat from bone in a furious flurry of face-stuffing, and then head out to the box stores to fistfight over doodads and trinkets that we don’t need. We’ll fill our bellies and empty our bank accounts and grow ever more detached from the world around us. Give thanks!
Of course, I’m a massive hypocrite. I might not bust down the Target doors on Black Friday that often, but I’ll definitely make myself sick from overeating on Thursday. And my wife and I have been known to hit up a mall or two on Black Friday, ostensibly to people-watch, but realistically because we might be even more into material goods and beholden to bargains than most Americans.
If I do hit the shops this Friday, I’ll probably slide a few of these deals onto the docket. We can bemoan the excess commercialism that follows Thanksgiving on Black Friday every year, but almost everybody’s on a budget, and if you need to fit that special somebody’s preferred videogame gift into your spending plans, there’s no better day to make it work. Here are the best videogame deals hitting retail this week. Some of them start on Thursday night (which, I mean, c’mon, people, stay home on Thanksgiving! Quit encouraging the Walmarts of the world from further abusing their already exploited and underpaid workers by forcing them to leave their families on a major holiday to go referee Toughman Contests in the electronics department.), others start on Friday, and some might last through the whole weekend. If anything strikes your fancy, do a spot of research to figure out when and how long the sale lasts.
And remember, be nice to your cashier. No matter how little sleep you got before your shopping spree, they’re almost definitely having a worse day than you.
We’re going to break this up into five major categories, one for each major piece of hardware (including the 3DS), and then a single catch-all for major third-party games for all systems. And we’re going to start with the breakthrough big shot game release of the year…
1. The Nintendo Switch
Uh, okay, bad news: There aren’t any sales on the Switch hardware this year. A few outlets are advertising that they’ll have units in stock on Black Friday, which isn’t anything to sneeze at, since it’s still not a given that you can find these things on the shelf at any given store. Best Buy, Target, Walmart and GameStop all list the Switch in their circulars for the week at the regular retail price of $300. It may not be a deal but it’s still kind of a steal—we are big time believers in the Switch here at Paste, and that’s a fairly reasonable price for the amount of sheer enjoyment you’ll get out of the thing. Unfortunately Nintendo’s various Switch peripherals, from the Joy-Con motion controllers to the more traditional Pro Controller, also don’t seem to be on sale anywhere.
There are some good discounts on games, though. Super Mario Odyssey is still full-price basically everywhere, and most stores don’t have any deals on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can grab the Explorer’s Edition of Breath of the Wild for $49 at Walmart, though. That’s a small price cut for a game that will probably wind up ranking pretty darn high on our list of the best games of 2017.
Other good Switch game deals includes Puyo Puyo Tetris for $20 at Best Buy; the middling minigame collection 1-2-Switch for $20 at Toys R Us, $25 at Best Buy and $29 at Walmart; and FIFA 18 for $20 at Best Buy and $30 at Toys R Us.
Best Switch Deals:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Explorer’s Edition for $49 (Walmart)
Puyo Puyo Tetris for $20 (Best Buy)
1-2-Switch for $20 (Toys R Us), $25 (Best Buy), $29 (Walmart)
FIFA 18 for $20 (Best Buy), $30 (Toys R Us)
2. The Xbox One
Microsoft’s given itself a license to confuse with its latest Xbox One upgrade. The brand new Xbox One X runs games in native 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range color, and is currently the most technically powerful videogame system on the market. It’s also not on sale anywhere this week, because it’s literally like two weeks old.
The Xbox One S is on sale, though, pretty much everywhere. And if you’re confused by that name, let’s break it down real fast: the Xbox One S, which came out last year, upscales games to 4K, but can’t actually render them at that resolution. So things might look a little nicer than on the original Xbox One, but not as nice as on the Xbox One X. It also doesn’t have the improved processing power of the X. It’s a half-step between the Xbox One you might’ve bought between 2013 and mid-2016, and the Xbox One X you can buy today. The Xbox One S will be on sale at most major chains for $189.99 this Black Friday, with a 500 GB hard drive (that you will probably want to immediately supplement with an external storage option) and no bundled games. That deal can be found at Best Buy, Gamestop, Sam’s Club, Newegg, Walmart and Toys R Us, and it gets even better at three other stores: Kohl’s includes a $45 Kohl’s gift card with that $189.99 purchase, while Target throws in a $25 Target card, and the Microsoft Store adds a free month of streaming game service Xbox Game Pass and one free game from a list of recent Ubisoft releases. If you want the 1 TB model and a game, Gamestop has a variety of 1 TB Xbox One S bundles for $299.99, which is $50 off. Bundle options include Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Halo Wars 2 and more.
When it comes to accessories, you’ll be able to score an Xbox One controller that works with all console models for $20 off at a variety of major retailers. Look for these at a $39.99 price point at Best Buy, Kohl’s, Target, Toys R Us, the Microsoft Store and Walmart.
Best Xbox One Deals:
500 GB Xbox One S console for $189.99 (Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Toys R Us, Gamestop, and Newegg); $189.99 with a $45 Kohl’s gift card (Kohl’s); $189.99 with a $25 Target gift card (Target); $189.99 with a free month of Xbox Game Pass and one free Ubisoft game (Microsoft Store).
1 TB Xbox One S console with a variety of game bundles for $299.99 (Gamestop)
Xbox One controllers for $39.99 (Target, Kohl’s, Toys R Us, Microsoft Store, Walmart, Best Buy)
3. PlayStation 4
Unlike Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony doesn’t really have any new hardware this year. It double-downed on that last year, with both the 4K PlayStation Pro coming out, and PlayStation VR. (The PlayStation 4 is still the only videogame console with its own virtual reality headset.) The PS4 Pro is barely going to be on sale anywhere this year—Gamestop will have a 1 TB PS4 Pro bundle for $349.99, which is $50 off the regular retail price. The standard PlayStation 4, aka the PS4 slim, will be on sale at many stores, though. A PS4 slim with a 1 TB hard drive and no games will be available for $199 at Walmart and Sam’s Club, and for $200 at Best Buy, Target, Costco, Toys R Us, Gamestop (with a $50 Gamestop gift card), and Kohl’s (with a $60 Kohl’s gift card).
VR, meanwhile, will be on sale for $200 at Gamestop and Target. That’s $100 off the regular price, but it also doesn’t come with the Move controllers, which you’ll need for most PSVR games, and which cost $100 for a two-pack. If you were already planning on picking up Skyrim VR, the best bet is probably Gamestop’s deal on the Skyrim bundle; for $349.99 you get the headset, the Move controllers and the game.
The standard DualShock 4 controller will also be on sale at a variety of stores this week. Normally $64.99, you’ll be able to find them for $38 at Gamestop, $39 at Walmart, and $40 at Kohl’s, Target and Toys R Us.
As for PlayStation-exclusive games, the best deals are on Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Yakuza 0. You can experience Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross’s adventures in The Lost Legacy for $20 at Gamestop and $29 at Walmart, and the final days of 1988 with Yakuza’s Kazuma Kiryu for $30 at Gamestop.
Best PlayStation 4 Deals:
1 TB PlayStation 4 slim for $200 (Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Costco, Toys R Us; $200 with a $50 Gamestop gift card (Gamestop); $200 with a $60 Kohl’s gift card (Kohl’s)
PlayStation VR headset for $200 (Gamestop, Target)
PlayStation VR Skyrim bundle with Move controllers for $349.9 (Gamestop)
DualShock 4 controllers for $38 (Gamestop), $39 (Walmart), $40 (Kohl’s, Target, Toys R Us)
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy for $20 (Gamestop), $29 (Walmart)
Yakuza 0 for $30 (Gamestop)
4. The Nintendo 3DS
The Switch is a smash, and a portable one at that, but Nintendo’s still cranking out product for its handheld that doesn’t double as a console, the 3DS. The best deals are on the hardware itself. An original 3DS will set you back $100 at Gamestop, while the newer, larger 3DS XL is $140 at Gamestop. There’s also a special Link Edition of the 2DS that comes with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (which, uh, wouldn’t have the 3D functionality on the 2DS); that bundle is $80 at Gamestop, Target and Walmart. The best software deals for the 3DS are at Best Buy, including Animal Crossing: New Leaf for $15, Mario Kart 7 for $20, and the relatively new Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia for $20.
Best 3DS Deals:
3DS for $100 (Gamestop)
3DS XL for $140 (Gamestop)
Link Edition 2DS with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for $80 (Gamestop, Target, Walmart)
Animal Crossing: New Leaf for $15 (Best Buy)
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia for $20 (Best Buy)
Mario Kart 7 for $20 (Best Buy)
5. Third Party Games
With hardware deals relatively low-key this year, the best single source of bargains will probably be the various deals on major third party games for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. We’re only sharing a small slice of what will be available this week, focusing on some of the bigger games from the last few months and some of our favorite games of the year. Here’s what you can plan on:
Assassin’s Creed Origins for $34.99 (Best Buy, Target); $39.99 (Toys R Us)
Call of Duty: WWII for $39.99 (Best Buy); $44.99 (Target, Toys R Us)
Destiny 2 for $27.99 (Gamestop); $29.99 (Best Buy, Target)
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider for $14.99 (Best Buy, Gamestop)
FIFA 18 for $27.99 (Gamestop); $29.99 (Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us, Walmart)
Nier: Automata for $25 (Best Buy, Gamestop)
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard for $15 (Target); $19 (Walmart); $20 (Best Buy, Gamestop)
Wolfenstein II for $24.99 (Best Buy, Gamestop); $29.99 (Target)
WWE 2K18 for $29 (Walmart); $30 (Best Buy); $35 (Target / Toys R Us); $40 (Gamestop)
Garrett Martin edits Paste’s games and comedy sections. He’s on Twitter @grmartin.