jingle-all-the-way- consoles

Universal/Sony/Microsoft

We’re about two years out from the release of the PS4 and the Xbox One. New releases for the last generation are drying up, or are being stripped of features. You want to play Fallout 4. It’s time to buy a new console. But should you? Here’s what to look for.

Don’t Assume You’ll Get The Price In The Flyer

First off, expect both consoles to be advertised at $299, anywhere you go. That’s the price point GameStop has set, and you can expect Best Buy, which wants to drive GameStop from the malls and hear the lamentations of their Amiibos, to follow suit. That kind of pressure means pretty much everybody, from K-Mart to Target, is going to at least offer something of a deal.

That said, the standalone consoles will be “doorbusters.” A quick explanation: A doorbuster is an item of limited quantity offered at a really low price to get you in the door. If you flip through that GameStop Black Friday flyer that leaked early, you’ll notice that technically, they’re offering $50 off all bundles. The goal is to lure you in with cheap consoles and then have you spend at least $50 extra on a bundle… of which they will have plenty.

Is The Bundle Worth It?

Some bundles are just a straight-up slam dunk. For example, Microsoft will sell you the Xbox One and your choice of the biggest games on the console for $350. That said, though, you have to decide whether the bundle you’re considering has a game you really want to play.

Keep in mind, you can’t trade the game in and get any real money back. Both Microsoft and Sony are going to move bundles by the pallet this holiday season, and they tend to bundle in hugely popular games in the first place. Your local GameStop probably has a fort out back made from used copies of Assassin’s Creed Unity and The Uncharted Collection, and by January, they’re going to have an entire new wing on that fort thanks to bundles.

If you’ve got a buddy also shopping for the same console, consider a bundle trade; i.e. if he can only find a game you want, and vice versa, you just swap them out. Otherwise, ask if the game with the bundle is individually wrapped: If so, donate it to your local Christmas charity.

What About Games?

Finally, there are games. Do a little research before you go anywhere, because we’re at the point where you can pick up new games for either console for dirt this Friday, and you will see people buying games nobody in their right mind would spend money on just because they’re five bucks. The best thing to do is have your phone out and compare prices between the official console store, Amazon, the store website, and the deal in front of you. As low as a price might seem in the store, you can likely get a better deal.

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