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We're constantly on the lookout for the best deals, but while there are quite a few big sales events throughout the year, such as Prime Day and Steam's Summer Sale, nothing compares to the whirlwind of blowout sales that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. From consoles and games to accessories and tech, there's no better time of year to spend money on the hottest products. While Black Friday 2019 is still a ways off, the holidays will be here faster than you think, and whether you have a long list of loved ones to buy for or a personal wishlist (hey, we're not judging), it's best to have a plan when Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around this year.
When is Black Friday 2019?
Well, it's tricky. Black Friday is technically the day after Thanksgiving, of course, which falls on November 29 this year. But if what you're really asking is when do the deals start, the answer is that they'll likely roll out gradually over the month of November and ramp up significantly on Thanksgiving. Black Friday itself will be the biggest day for deals, but expect to see sales through that entire weekend and into Cyber Monday.
While the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday will be the key time to pay attention to retailer offers, some stores will offer "Black November" sales that span the entire month. We'll update this piece with the latest info as soon as Black Friday-related sales start to appear.
The best Black Friday deals to watch for
Practically anything you might need to buy will get a discount during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but if you're mainly on the hunt for consoles, games, tech, and other types of entertainment media this shopping season, there are a few specific stores to keep your eyes on. Amazon, of course, will be a major player in the shopping frenzy, but other key retailers include Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Newegg, Ebay, and Google Express. The latter three stores, in particular, offered some of the best console bundles and game deals around during Prime Day this year, so we expect they'll have more surprising deals to offer come Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
While the holiday shopping season tends to emphasize tech and hardware--those shiny things people shove their way through crowds to grab--it'll also be worth checking out sales at digital game stores, like the Nintendo Eshop, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam, Fanatical, Green Man Gaming, and more. Digital games tend to stay at a higher price range than physical discs, so if you prefer owning games digitally, this is a great opportunity to snag any games on your wishlist.
The best Black Friday deals to expect
When it comes to gaming, it's always hard to predict exactly what deals will be available during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019--but we'll take our shot in the dark.
You'll be able to find a good discount on nearly any game from the past few years, including some early 2019 releases like Resident Evil 2, Kingdom Hearts 3, The Division 2, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. We'd expect to see those as low as $15 to $30. During Black Friday 2018, for instance, the critically acclaimed God of War could be found for $17; it released that April. If you've had your eye on a game released within the past few months, like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Gears 5, Borderlands 3, or Zelda: Link's Awakening, those newer games may fall to $30 or $40 (although steep discounts are more likely for PS4 and Xbox One titles than Nintendo Switch ones).
With newer Switch models finally on the market--the new Switch with better battery life and the smaller, handheld-only Switch Lite--we're sure to see discounts on the launch model Switch, likely around $250 or even less. If you like playing the Switch docked and don't have an issue with slightly less battery life, that'll be an excellent discount on the hottest console of 2019. If you're holding out for one of the newer Switch models, however, it's less likely there will be significant discounts, but we'd bet on some good console bundles hitting stores around Black Friday. If you're buying a new Switch or Switch Lite for yourself or a loved one this holiday season, those game bundles will be one thing to look out for.
Meanwhile, this will likely be the last big holiday season for the PS4 and Xbox One consoles, as anticipation is building for Sony and Microsoft to reveal their next-generation consoles. Microsoft has already confirmed that Xbox's next iteration, codenamed Project Scarlett, is slated to arrive in Holiday 2020. We know less about the PS5, but while there's no release date, we're sure to hear about the next generation of PlayStation hardware in 2020.
So what does that mean for Black Friday 2019? Well, PS4 and Xbox One discounts are becoming a dime a dozen these days, and we expect to see the consoles hit their lowest prices yet this holiday season. If you (like me) still have a launch-edition PS4 or Xbox One and are starting to see performance issues on newer games like Control, this might be a good time to trade in that old console and get the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X at its lowest price yet. After all, the next-gen consoles are still at least a year away. During Black Friday 2018 as well as Prime Day 2019, we saw the PS4 Pro drop to $320, so we'll likely see it on sale for at least $300 during Black Friday 2019. While the Xbox One X hung around $400 last holiday season, we saw it as low as $314 at Google Express during Prime Day, so we'll go out on a limb and predict it also hits $300 at some point during Black Friday.
Of course, Black Friday is an excellent time to save on subscriptions, accessories, and practically anything on your wishlist or holiday shopping list. You'll likely see markdowns on memberships like PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and Nintendo Switch Online. Controllers, headsets, memory cards, and more will also see discounts.
How to get the best Black Friday deals
It's all about speed, baby. Black Friday is like Prime Day on steroids, with almost every retailer throwing their hat into the ring and competing to offer the best deals. Your best bet is to follow retailers and brands you're interested in on Twitter or Facebook and pay attention to their ads and posts in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. And as our sister brand CNET points out, there are various sites that hunt down and post "leaked" Black Friday ads from retailers ahead of the event, revealing what products will be on sale during the shopping bonanza. In 2018, those leaked ads started popping up as early as the end of October. Finally, if you see a product at an incredible price during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, don't wait to buy it. The best deals will be gone in a flash.
Of course, you'll also want to stay tuned to GameSpot as we highlight the best deals on games, electronics, and entertainment leading up to and during Black Friday. Be sure to follow GameSpot Deals on Twitter so you don't miss the hottest discounts.