Best Black Friday deals on video-game consoles

Consumer Reports

This holiday season, the gaming world is buzzing about the release of the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. But many shoppers may not be willing to shell out $400 or $500 for each system. Still, there are deals to be had during Black Friday. And though retailers are offering similar deals, there are a few surprises for PS3 and Xbox 360 bundles. Consumer Reports scoured the released (and leaked) ads to find you the best bargains.

Walmart

Walmart is promising to make this Black Friday its biggest shopping event ever. Those who don't mind sneaking away from Thanksgiving dinner with the family will have a good excuse: Shoppers can start making their Black Friday purchases at 6 p.m.

A real steal is the 4GB Xbox 360 console for $100; a savings of $80. All major retailers are offering the same PlayStation 3 bundle (which includes The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham Origins video games) for $200. The 12GB PS3 alone is $149, a $50 savings.

For younger gamers, the Nintendo 2DS is marked down to $99. Walmart is also offering more than 100 video games under $25, including NBA 2K14 and Just Dance 2014—a third of which listed under $10.

Target

Target, which will open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, is offering the same PS3 bundle as Walmart, for $200. The Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle will be $190 and comes two games and one month free of Xbox Live Gold.

For $39, you can pair the Xbox with a wireless controller or Turtle Beach headset. Likewise for Sony gamers. Target is also offering a Nintendo 3DS XL bundle for $149.99. Games including The Sims 3 ($15), Madden 25 ($35) and Just Dance 3 ($10) are all available.

Best Buy

At Best Buy, the PS3 bundle is listed at $200. But Xbox 360 has the better bundle at this store: For $190, you can score a 250GB hard drive, a chat headset, and four games, including Batman: Arkham Origins and Halo 4.

Another Best Buy bundle is the Wii U Mario Bundle for $320. But if you want a handheld device, then check out the Nintendo 3DS Luigi’s Mansion Bundle for $150.

Best Buy is also offering the wireless PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers and headset for five bucks less: $35. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for games, such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, listed as low as $12. These deals start at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day in stores. But arrive early—associates will hand out golden tickets for certain items 2 hours prior to opening.

For more reviews, advice, news, and trends, check our guide to video games, consoles, and tech toys. And for more deals, visit our holiday shopping guide.

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Toys 'R' Us

This retailer should never be ignored when it comes it gaming. It offers many of the same deals, including the PS3 bundle for $200 and the Nintendo 3DS bundle for $150. But some bundles come with a bonus.

At $200, the Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle comes with two games, plus Halo 3 free with purchase. A Wii U bundle is $260 ($40-$60 cheaper than other retailers), and comes with popular Skylanders SWAP Force figurines, three games, and a $25 gift card. All games are buy-one-get-one 40 percent off. And a large selection of the 150 titles are buy-one-get-one for $1. Check at Toys "R" Us' website to find out opening hours for your local store.

I you want to relive the days of blue hedgehogs and joystick controllers, Toys "R" Us is also offering 40 percent off Atari Flashback 4 and SEGA Genesis Classic Game consoles. Both are listed at $30 for Black Friday.

GameStop

GameStop may be popular for swapping and reselling games, but it's also a great option for Black Friday deals—even on new items. For $250, you can own the special-edition Azurite Blue PS3 (250GB with Jak and Daxter Collection). This is the only retailer we could find offering a PS3 in any color other than black.

GameStop also has two versions of the Wii U bundle for $300 (Skylanders SWAP Force and Deluxe Set). And if you don’t mind hearing the phrase "pre-owned," you can save $50 on a Xbox 360 Slim ($180) or PS3 ($180), or get a Xbox 360 bundle for $100. GameStop is sticking closer to tradition by opening it doors at midnight on Black Friday morning.

And finally, you can connect with gamers online and score discounts by purchasing a one-year subscription of PlayStation Plus from GameStop. For $30 (the usual yearly subscription rate is $50), you get instant access to a variety of free games and can save up to 75 percent on movie rentals and games.

—Kaitlyn Wells

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

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