Gamers have already had a handful of chances to get their paws on a next-gen video game console.
First, there was the pre-order phase. This was a hectic, frustrating time and I was insanely lucky to get a PS5 from GameStop as part of a larger (and more expensive) bundle.
I was actually gaming when PS5 pre-orders went live much earlier than expected. When I quit playing the game I was informed by colleagues who were discussing their attempts to get one. I hopped on several different websites and tried, without success, to not simply add a PS5 to my cart, but to actually check-out and pay for it.
By the end of the day I left defeated. No PS5 for me. Then, several days later, GameStop emailed me to say they were adjusting the price of my bundle down a few dollars.
I contacted them and sure enough, despite never getting a confirmation of any kind, I had successfully purchased a PS5 digital bundle, replete with extra gamepad, charging dock, PS Store gift card and PS Plus membership. That was the only way to get the console, and I used the $100 gift card buying the deluxe edition of Demon’s Souls. (Since we’re blacklisted by Sony for reasons we may never know, we just have to buy our review games. Demon’s Souls is worth it.)
My experience with the Xbox Series X pre-order was smoother. I simply logged into Walmart’s website, entered all my payment information early (this is key) and the moment pre-orders went live I refreshed the page, added an Xbox Series X to my cart and checked out with no issues at all. But I was on the ball, ready to pounce, and Walmart—unlike many other retailers that day—didn’t crash or have any major issues. I chose Walmart over other stores on a hunch, and it paid off.
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I do not recommend Amazon for these kinds of big pre-orders or launch day sales. I do not recommend them for Black Friday either.
Black Friday is when most people are expecting to have another crack at nabbing one of Sony or Microsoft’s new consoles, and with good reason. Both Best Buy and GameStop have confirmed they’ll have new consoles available on that day, online at least. So has Amazon. Undoubtedly other retailers, such as Target and Newegg, Costco and B&H Photo and others will have some stock as well.
But the one to pay attention to—again—is Walmart. The Walmart Black Friday ad leaked online recently (you can see all the deals right here) and next-gen consoles are featured heavily in the marketing. And the kicker? The giant retailer is kicking off its Black Friday sales early.
This year, Black Friday at Walmart begins online at 7pm ET / 4pm PT Wednesday the 25th. The PS5 and Xbox Series X / S will be in stock and for sale beginning at that time. They will not last long.
This is earlier than other retailers whose sales typically begin Thursday the 26th or even on Black Friday itself (crazy, I know).
Here’s links to each console at Walmart’s website:
This means you’ll have your first crack at finally scoring a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X in just over a week. Remember to login with your Walmart account and have all your payment information saved when you do. Make sure you have a stable internet connection and, uh, a backup battery just in case your power goes out at the worst possible time. As Scar told his hyena minions, Be prepared! (Which, I suppose, is also a Boy Scout motto. Huh).
If you miss out on Walmart, stay tuned to Forbes Games and my blog as we’ll have more tips and keep scouring the internet for options.
* I’ve included the Nintendo Switch bundle link because Walmart is selling that for $299 during the Black Friday event and it’s a perfectly fine alternative to Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen systems. Not as beefy, sure, but portable and with lots of great games to choose from.