Rather than exhaustively recapping all the big gaming-related sales happening today, I thought it a better use of my time to highlight a few of what I think are the best deals on offer. After all, you don’t need someone to tell you that nearly every retailer is offering some sort of deal on the Xbox 360 bundle with 4 gigabytes of memory. (More on that below.)
If you are seeking an exhaustive list, I recommend Kotaku’s.
Worth a special trip: PlayStation 3-owning fans of the Fab Four can score “The Beatles: Rock Band” or “Batman: Arkham Asylum” for $15 at Kmart, while Wal-mart has your PS3 exclusives of yesteryear covered. “Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction,” “God of War Collection” (which includes the first two games prettified for PS3) and “Killzone 2” are all $10. Kmart looks good for Xbox 360 owners, as well, as “Call of Duty: World at War” and “Batman: Arkham Asylum” are $15. “Mass Effect 2,” which may well be my game of the year, is a steal at $10 at Kmart and is probably the single best deal going today. I literally just double checked to make sure that wasn’t a typo.
If you’ve been gaming squarely in the PS2/Xbox/GameCube generation and are looking for an upgrade, the Wii is clearly priced to move now that Sony and Microsoft’s motion controllers are starting to gain steam. Best Buy will sell you a Wii bundled with controllers and both “Wii Sports” and “Wii Sports Resort” for $170. The store also has my favorite PS3 bundle, which includes the console, plus family friendly titles “LittleBigPlanet” and “ModNation Racers” and a “Cars” Blu-ray movie.
If you’re in the neighborhood: Xbox 360 owners will be able to pick up recent hits “Halo: Reach” or “Fable III” for $40 at any number of retailers today, including Best Buy, GameStop and Kmart. (GameStop has “Fallout: New Vegas” for the same price.) If you still haven’t picked up the first “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed,” Wal-mart’s got it for $10. Wii owners might want to take note of Target’s selling “Super Mario Galaxy 2” for $35. Nintendo is notoriously sluggish with price drops for its top titles, and this might be the cheapest you’ll see “SMG2” for a while.
Don’t have to leave the house: Amazon’s gaming deals Twitter feed teased a number of enticing deals Thursday night, but they weren’t forthcoming about when, exactly, during the day they’d be offered. “Bayonetta,” a strong game of the year contender, is currently up for grabs at just $13, while “Demon’s Souls” is $15 and “InFamous” is $10.
You’ll also be able to download a bunch of cheapies directly to your console. Both Microsoft and Sony are running sales for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3’s online stores. Of the stuff on sale Friday, I heartily recommend “Portal: Still Alive” and “Trials HD” for $5 and “Puzzle Quest 2” for $10 on the Xbox 360. The PlayStation Network gets in on the action with deals on “Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake” and “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” for the PSP. If it’s PS3 stuff you’re looking for, “Joe Danger” and “DeathSpank” are half-off, or $7.50.
Update: After I posted this, Microsoft unveiled a bunch more deals where you can get decent games, such as “Greed Corp.” and “‘Splosion Man” for as little as $2. Those deals are for today only. Already an owner of “‘Splosion Man,” I grabbed “Greed Corp.” for $2 and “Trials HD” for $5, while passing on “TMNT: Turtles in Time Reshelled,” which was also $2.
Also worth a mention are Steam’s Black Friday sales, the details of which can be found here: My picks here would be “Machinarium” and “Torchlight” and the “Clever Pack” bundle of five indie games. All these are priced at $5.
Sounds better than it is: It seems like just about every retailer is offering some kind of discount on the $200 Xbox 360 slim console that comes with 4GB of memory. The thing is, though, 4GB just isn’t much memory. Gamers who buy the $300 bundle that includes a 250 GB hard drive, as opposed to 4 GB of flash memory, get to take advantage of one of the 360’s coolest features: game installs. Players with hard drives can install their games and drastically cut down on load times within games. Even if you’re not installing games to a hard drive, though, 4 GB just isn’t much room if you plan on downloading games or additional content for your retail titles.
In that light, check out Toys R Us’ deal, which will sell you a $300 Xbox 360 slim with the crucial larger hard drive. They’ll throw in a $50 gift card you can put toward something else.