Black Friday is a ridiculous time of year. Otherwise normal and mild-mannered people turn into deal-hungry trample machines the moment stores unlock their doors. While other sites are dedicated to offering a comprehensive list of deals, we here at Bitmob want to help you make the most of those precious pre-dawn hours.
The following is an analysis of the biggest sales happening November 26.
Main Game Retailers:
Walmart – (electronics sale 5-11 a.m.)
If you want a tailored list of Walmart's deals, you can find region-specific advertising on their website. They aren't offering the biggest selection of discounted games, but hopefully you'll find something you want.
Best Buy (opens 5 a.m.)
Here's a sale worth camping out for. Last year, Best Buy offered a half-price slash on most of their new releases, including games that came out the week of Black Friday. This year is no different, but their console bundles are a lot more enticing. Sure, the 360 set is for the 4GB model, but three games and a console for $199.99 isn't bad.
Target (opens 4 a.m.)
Target's biggest draw is the amount of gift cards they're willing to throw around. Nearly every purchase comes with one, and every customer who spends $100 or more is eligible for one $15 bonus.
Most notable: Their games are competitively priced with both Gamestop and Best Buy, and they have more desirable new releases, like Halo: Reach and Fable 3, up for grabs. They also have more child-friendly pricing.
Gamestop – (opens at midnight at select stores, 5 a.m. everywhere else)
Gamestop's sale started earlier this week with a "Buy 2 get 1" deal on all their pre-owned games. Their Friday sales are much more in-depth, but the way they're going about it is terrible. A few stores in every region are opening at midnight. The nearest one to me is in Missouri, and I am not about to drive an hour out of my way for sales, no matter how cheap and deal-oriented I am.
All other Gamestops open at 5 a.m.
Most notable: While most retailers are beating Gamestop on prices — they're offering meager $10 discounts on games others are slashing to half-price — they are dedicating themselves to keeping product in stock into the first week of December. Their Wii games and accessories steal the show with the most consistently low prices of all the other stores. If you're in a pinch, Gamestop is definitely a good one to look into, but I wouldn't camp out here.
Amazon's Black Friday madness involves their usual lightning sales which offer deals of various quality on often pricey items throughout their inventory. But, college students have more incentive to use Amazon this year as they're offering free two-day shipping to anyone who provides their university email account and major.
Steam just announced their "Give & Get" sale going on now through November 30. What makes this deal special is that every day of the event Steam is giving 30 people the top five games on their wishlists. So, get in on the action and fill up your wishlist with at least 10 items!
Newegg's sale started on November 1. Dubbed "Black November," this month has had tons of crazy price slashes. Their Friday sale starts at 1 p.m. PST and hopefully will be even grander than what we've already seen. While they offer a limited selection of games, Newegg is perfect if you're looking for computer equipment and accessories.
Cyber Monday takes place after Black Friday. While the deals aren't as good as what you'll find in stores on November 26, many big retailers offer various sales in their online shops to continue cashing in on the money-saving insanity. Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Gamestop have already confirmed their participation, and many web-only stores are likely to start sales then.
Keep an eye on your favorites.