Amazon Prime Day 2018: What Is It, How Long Is It, Best Deals, Free Games, Tips, And More

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July's fireworks and barbecues might be behind us, but that means it's time for Amazon Prime Day 2018 to happen. This Black Friday-like event returns once again this summer, and this year will see a longer-than-usual event. You can expect the Amazon to offer temporary discounts on games, tech, movies, toys, and anything else you might want to buy from the world's largest online retailer. Other retailers are also offering their own sales to cash in on the commerce craze. Here's everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2018, including some tips on how to make the most of it. At the bottom of this post, you'll also find all of our Prime Day coverage, but your best place to get started is our roundup of the best Prime Day 2018 gaming deals.

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What is Prime Day?

Prime Day is a massive sale Amazon puts on each year in July for Prime members. It all began in 2015, when Amazon had a sale to celebrate its 20th birthday. In the years since, Prime Day has grown into a shopping extravaganza in its own right, with deep discounts on all kinds of items.

When is Prime Day?

Prime Day begins at 12 PM PT (3 PM ET / 12 PM BT) on July 16 and will last 36 hours, through July 17. This is longer than in the past and could mean more deals to go around than during previous sales.

What are some Prime Day tips?

Black Friday affords shoppers with a lot of time to plan and get ready for the big day. That's not the case with Prime Day; while we get a select number of deals early, you'll need to be ready on Monday and Tuesday to act quickly. We've assembled a range of Prime Day tips to help you make the most of the day, including how to ensure you're getting the best deals possible.

For Prime Members Only

The catch is that you have to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of the deals. The company ruffled feathers earlier this year when it upped the annual price of a Prime membership from $99 to $119. (You can also get a one-month membership for $13). Having to buy a subscription is a bummer, but there are ways around dropping cash just to take part in Prime Day. If you've never been a Prime member before, you can get a free 30-day trial just by signing up. Students get an even better deal: their Prime membership begins with a free six-month trial.

Even if you're a lapsed Prime member and you can't get the free trial, signing up for a one-month membership may be worthwhile, depending on what Prime Day deals you want to take advantage of. There's also a good chance Amazon will offer a discount on Prime subscriptions in the run-up to Prime Day, so your best bet is to wait and see.

What kind of deals can we expect?

Amazon always drops prices on tons of items, with big discounts in particular on its own hardware: Echos, Kindles, Fire sticks, and tablets. Additionally, you can expect big savings on video games, consoles, gaming accessories, 4K TVs, other electronics, apparel, outdoor gear, baby products, and nearly anything else you can buy at the online retailer.

Already Amazon has dropped the price on the Echo Show from $230 to $130 for Prime members and begun offering discounts on select items like furniture and luggage. Many more deals are to come, and you can see a selection of the first promotions. Meanwhile, Twitch Prime--which you get for free with Amazon Prime--is giving a ton of free PC games this month.

Also be sure to check out our 7 tips to get the most out of Prime Day 2018 referenced above. We'll have lots of Prime Day deals coverage on all things gaming and media here at GameSpot when the event rolls around. Make sure to check back closer to the the big day.

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Coverage

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