If you're looking for a good console bundle at a discount price, now is the time to do it. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are getting close, and the Black Friday bundle deals out there will net you current-generation gaming hardware at a price not seen since, well, the same time last year.
As ever on Black Friday, retailers are dusting off unsold units and looking to shift them as quickly as they can – and you, the gamer, are set to reap rewards.
It's possible the likes of the PS4, Xbox One S, or Nintendo Switch will be at their lowest prices ever, and the console bundles on offer are likely to feature even bigger AAA games after a new year on video game releases on all three platforms.
Is now really the time to cough up the cash for a console bundle? Here's why you might be tempted.
1. Consoles are expensive
Boy, do consoles cost a pretty penny. For current-gen consoles, you’re looking at around $200 / £200 for a new PlayStation 4, Xbox One S, or Nintendo Switch.
That’s before we get onto upgraded hardware like the $400 / £300 / AU$450 PS4 Pro or $350 / £350 / AU$470 Xbox One X, both of which offer higher specs and better graphics but will need you to increase your budget in return.
That’s not to say these consoles aren’t worth buying full price – but if the cost is holding you back, there are considerable savings to be had.
2. Bundles will have the best savings
Even without the Black Friday sales kicking off, a bundle is generally the best way to get your hands on a new console.
It’s very normal to get free games bundled in for the RRP of just the console – usually one AAA game or two smaller titles – and often additional peripherals like secondary controllers, which can come to another $60 / £50 / AU$80 apiece.
And all in the convenience of one box as well!
3. Unique designs and limited edition consoles
Of course, there’s also the speciality factor. Console-makers often reskin hardware for specific, limited-run bundles. So if you want a good-looking console none of your friends will have, this is the way to do it.
One of the most striking we saw last year was Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 Pro bundle, which sported a super-sleek red-and-white spider logo. Nintendo also loves limited edition designs, such as its brown-and-yellow Pokemon Let’s Go bundle with Pikachu and Eevee cavorting across the Switch dock.
There's a gorgeous / terrifying special edition Xbox One X bundle for Gears 5 that launched in September – with a haunting gray skull across the console, and every Gears of War game so far – and could well get cut down to more affordable prices in the upcoming sales.
(For the flip side of this, check out our guide to the 10 worst special edition consoles ever made.)
4. Black Friday is a spending bonanza
It makes a lot of financial sense for retailers to discount their stock for Black Friday, as it tends to encourage more sales and therefore maintain the same profit margin as selling fewer units at RRP – while clearing out their warehouses.
But with so many deals tempting shoppers, the biggest gaming retailers – Argos, Amazon, John Lewis and Game in the UK, or Walmart and Best Buy in the US – will be doing everything they can to entice you away from their competitors.
Black Friday is, quite simply, the biggest spending day of the year. And if you don’t get the deal you want this year, you’re unlikely to get a better one until Black Friday 2020.
- Need a TV to play your console games? Check out the best Black Friday TV deals
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.