Friday’s sale day, folks. And, just as there are every year, there are a slew of gaming-related bargains to be had for those willing to brave the teeming hordes of shoppers. Personally, I like to use the day to hunker down in my warm living room and fire up the 360 for some co-op gaming. But if you’re in the market for a console, Friday’ll be a great time to buy. The ideal scenario probably has you picking up a 360 at Best Buy, where you can get a whopping six games. If it’s a PS3 you crave, Best Buy and Wal-Mart have the best deals for those. Once you’ve got a console, you’ll want to head to Target for discount controllers, then hit some combination of other retailers selling the $60 games you crave for $40 or less.
Don’t consider this an exhaustive list. I’m generally not going to tell you that Best Buy is selling “My Word Coach” on the DS for $10 because it’s not an in-demand, well-reviewed title, and I’ve got a finite amount of time to put this together. For a more complete list of Black Friday deals, I recommend you check out BFads.net, where I was able to scan retail ads for most major retailers. And, of course, a lot of these deals will be advertised in Friday’s Press Democrat.
If you’re in the market for a console, bundles are the name of the game. You won’t many deeply discounted machines, but you’ll find plenty of extras packed into the box.
Best Buy will sell you the new slim, 120 gigabyte hard-drive packing PlayStation 3 for the standard price of $300, but they’ll throw in the Game of the Year edition of “LittleBigPlanet” and the newly released “Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time,” two of the system’s best games. What’s more, they’re both family-friendly titles, making this a great pick-up for families with hi-def TVs and young children. The Xbox 360 is still a great buy, too, and Best Buy’s selling a $300 bundle that includes the Elite version of the console with a 120 gigabyte hard drive and six medicore-to-decent games.
GameStop is offering similar deals. You’ll be able to pick up the 120 GB PS3, plus “LittleBigPlanet” and the recently reissued and prettied up “God of War” and “God of War 2” for $300. The Xbox 360 deal includes fewer games than the Best Buy deal. And while the same can be said of Kmart, its 360 deal includes a bona fide good game in “Halo 3: ODST,” plus the underrated “Pure” and the overrated “Lego Batman.” The last two are standard in most 360 Elite bundles available for the holidays.
There aren’t many good deals on handhelds, but Wal-Mart’s got the DS Lite for $97, about $30 off the regular price. Bear in mind that the Lite isn’t as current a hardware revision as the DSi, which sells for $170 most places. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart’s PS3 bundle goes with a superhero theme, including “inFAMOUS,” “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and the movie “The Dark Knight” on Blu-ray.
If you’re looking for extra controllers for that console you just bought, head on over to Target. They’ve got PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers marked down $10 to $15 from the standard price, available while supplies last.
Over at Best Buy, Electronic Arts is selling the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions all its latest titles for $25 off the regular price. “FIFA Soccer 10,” “NHL 10,” “Left 4 Dead 2,” “Dragon Age: Origins” and “Brütal Legend” are all a steal at $35. “Need for Speed: Shift” is worth a look on the PS3, where it’s the best racing game released this fall. Best Buy’s also selling “Resident Evil 5,” “Fallout 3,” “The Bigs 2” and Western-themed shooter “Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood” for $20 each on 360 and PS3.
On the Wii, you can pick up “New Play Control! Pikmin” or “Boom Blox Bash Party” for $15. If you’re a PC gamer, Best Buy’ll sell you “World of Warcraft,” “Far Cry 2” “Assassin’s Creed,” “Civilization IV,” “BioShock” or “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl” for $5 apiece. Of course, with “WoW,” you’ll be paying a monthly subscription fee.
GameStop’s got plenty of deals on software. For starters, the world’s largest game-only retail chain is running one of its popular, “buy two used games, get one free” specials. As far as new games, if you haven’t snapped up “Wii Sports Resort” on the Wii, you can buy the game,which comes with one Wii MotionPlus, plus an extra MotionPlus, for $50. “Spore Hero,” “Dead Space: Extraction,” “MySims Agents” and “Need for Speed: Nitro” will run you $20 apiece. Of the four, the “Dead Space” game looks like the best bet.
On the 360/PS3 front, “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Call of Duty: World at War” are $40 each, as are Xbox 360 exclusives “Halo 3: ODST” and “Forza Motorsport 3.” As at Best Buy, GameStop is selling “Left 4 Dead 2” for $40 on the 360. “Prototype” will run you $30 on the 360 or PS3, while “Grand Theft Auto IV” is $20 and “Guitar Hero 5” is $40. Also at GameStop, “Left 4 Dead 2” on the PC is marked down to $30, as is “The Sims 3.”
Over at Kmart, you’ll find a familiar collection of titles on sale for $40. A trio of great Xbox 360 exclusives — “Left 4 Dead 2,” “Forza Motorsport 3” and “Halo 3: ODST” — is worth a look if you’re in the store. “Batman: Arkham Asylum” on PS3 and 360 will cost you the same. The Special Edition bundle of “Rock Band 2,” which includes drums, guitar and mic, will cost you just $100, a steal for this generation’s most versatile music game.
Target’s got “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” “Halo 3: ODST,” “Guitar Hero 5” and “Need for Speed: Shift” for $37.
While Wal-mart’s got the Special Edition “Rock Band” box for $50, you’re probably better going with Kmart’s “Rock Band 2” deal. The instruments are better quality, and the sequel is a far better game than the original. Still, if you’re determined to get in on the full-band game craze and only have $50 to spend, Wal-mart’s your spot. They’re also your best bet if you want “Grand Theft Auto IV.” The flyer says it’ll set you back $10. Meanwhile, “Madden NFL 10,” “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” and “NBA 2K10” will cost you just $25, as will “Tiger Woods PGA 10” on the Wii.
Game Crazy, whose store in Santa Rosa is still open despite the closure of the one in Petaluma, is open Thanksgiving Day as well as Friday. On Thursday, you’ll be able to pick up “Soul Calibur IV” on the 360 or PS3, or “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” on Wii, for just $15 each. On Friday, Prototype (360/PS3), “Guitar Hero World Tour” and “Animal Crossing: City Folk” are among the $15 games. But you’ve gotta show up between 5 and 8 a.m. Yikes. If you can’t get out of bed that early, “Borderlands,” “Halo 3: ODST” are $40 all day on the 360, while “Madden” is $35 on the Wii.