What To Look Out For On Black Friday This Year


Every year for Thanksgiving week, the weekly recap gets taken over by a quick look at what some of the major retailers are offering in terms of physical media. As physical media continues to have a smaller and smaller audience, it is important to note why it is important: it prevents the home consumer from having to pay a monthly subscription fee to watch a movie or a television show they want to watch more than once. Also, because streaming is internet-dependent, video and audio quality are dependent on the viewer’s internet connection and if there are a lot of people all using the streaming service at the same time. For movies and television, home media is the optimal way to view that media because the viewer does not need to worry about losing video quality. Video games do operate a little differently because there is a speed increase when a game is downloaded, however owning a physical copy and a console does prevent a game from going missing years down the line when the console is retired.

Consoles and Hardware

This year the bundles are back in a massive way with all three of the major game console manufacturers putting out excellent deals with their current-generation consoles. If one is looking to get into the new generation of video games, this would be an excellent time to do it. Nintendo is offering two distinct models for two of the three models of Nintendo Switch that are currently available. The base Nintendo Switch is available bundled with Mario Kart 8 and three months of Nintendo Switch Online for $299.99 while the higher-end OLED model is available bundled with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and three months of Nintendo Switch Online for $349.99. This does get a little murky with the Nintendo Switch reaching the end of its console life cycle within the next year so a buyer could run the risk of the hardware being outdated within a year but there is still a solid number of releases slated for 2024 including Princess Peach Showtime and remakes of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario Vs. Donkey Kong, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. That said, by next Christmas there may be a whole new console and launch lineup for it.

PlayStation is also coming stacked with two bundles with the PlayStation 5. Both are the edition of the console that comes with the disk drive and both bundles are priced at $499.99, however, one comes with Spider-Man 2 and one comes with Modern Warfare 3. Unlike Nintendo, both these games have been released within the last two months, but the Spider-Man 2 option is the better of the two since it is just an all-around better game, especially with single-player in mind.

Xbox has a discount on the base Xbox Series X that comes with three months of Xbox Game Pass as well as a bundle of the Xbox Series X with Diablo IV both priced at $449.99. If one is looking for a gift for a younger player but also wants a console with the power of the current generation, this is probably the way to go considering it is undercutting the price of the PlayStation 5 by $50, however, the library of Xbox games is not quite as robust as the library of PlayStation games. The other issue is that the Series X is somewhat held back by its parity with the Series S so the games are mostly not using the full power of the Series X. That said, Game Pass is still the best deal in gaming and three months of that full library being available for free will make up for the console not having a base game built in for it.

For those looking to get into VR, the Meta Quest 2 has been marked down to $249.99 but there is still a lack of games for the hardware that make it worth it for more casual users. There has yet to be the must-play game in VR and, while Beat Saber may be cool, there isn’t anything new that warrants an immediate purchase, even at this marked-down price.

If someone is trying to explore the world of remote playing, the Backbone has been marked down to $69.99. For those who do not know what the Backbone is, it is an add-on accessory for a cellphone that turns it into a controller with a screen that can be used to play Xbox, PC, or PlayStation games on their phone. This solution is not perfect for everyone considering that it does require a high-speed internet connection and a console or high-end gaming PC to play the games already, however, if someone is already a player and wants to play on the go, this is a great solution for them.


If one is going to buy one of these consoles, they’re probably going to want to supplement the games provided in the bundles with some other games. Fortunately, there are a number of major releases available heavily discounted. Starting out with some of the major third-party releases, both EA FC 24 (Formerly Fifa) and Madden 24 have been marked down to $29.99. The same goes for NBA 2K24 from 2K while EA’s most recent sports game release NHL 24 is only marked down to $34.99. The best deals here are probably EA FC 24 and NHL 24 because EA FC 24 will continue to have a robust online community into the future while NHL 24 is only a month old and marked down by a substantial margin. If someone waited this long for either Madden 24 or NBA 2K24, they would probably be willing to wait until it gets marked down further as the seasons for both sports progress. Some other great third-party games worth looking into (especially at these rates) are Star Wars Jedi: Survivor at $34.99, or Assassin’s Creed Mirage, The Metal Gear Collection Vol. 1, Street Fighter 6, and Hogwarts Legacy all priced at $39.99.

Nintendo is holding their annual markdown of their first-party titles, which is significant because this hardly ever happens. Nintendo is like the Disney of the video game industry where their first-party titles are such a premium for the company that they will hold their value even decades after the console has been discontinued. That said, on Black Friday a good amount of their titles do get marked down though The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and the various Pokemon (to be clear, GameStop is marking down Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl to $29.99, however they’ve done this a few times since release and is not strictly isolated to Black Friday, probably because these titles are remakes created by an outside development team) titles do appear to be excluded from this sale. Of note though, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, and Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe have all been marked down to $29.99 while Luigi’s Mansion 3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey have been marked down to $39.99.

Sony titles do tend to depreciate in value over time, however recent releases will still hold their regular retail value for a little over a year on average. That said, there are still a few great deals to be had in the form of Final Fantasy XVI, God of War: Ragnarok, The Last of Us Part I, and Gran Turismo 7 all marked down to $39.99. If one needs a gag gift for a PS5 player, Forespoken is marked down to $17.50.

The Xbox library is kind of in a weird place because of how digital it has made its game library so some of the best titles associated with the console ecosystem are either multiplatform like Lies of P or are exclusive to online storefronts like Hi-Fi Rush. Starfield is also too recent a release to receive a large markdown so Xbox is pushing the console sales with Game Pass over the physical library of games. That said, like Forespoken for the PS5 player, Vampire Survivors is available at $17.50 for Xbox players.


If someone does not have a desire for a game console but still wants the highest quality movie, they should consider investing in a 4K Blu-Ray player. Like buying a 4K television, one of the key things they should look out for is High Dynamic Range (HDR) and if the 4K Blu-Ray player in question does not advertise it, it is not worth getting. Best Buy has deals on a player released by LG for $179.99 and a model released by Sony for $229.99. The Sony model is a little stronger because, while it does not have a strong library of streaming apps (it only has Netflix and Amazon Prime), it does support Dolby Vision which is some of the highest-quality video available for home viewing.

Once one has a 4K Blu-Ray player (and keep in mind, both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X can play 4K Blu-Rays) the question becomes what movies should be used to showcase the power of this new player. An immediate first choice would be Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse considering its use of color which is marked down to $16.99. For $9.99 The Batman would be a worthwhile 4K investment, especially considering it will allow the viewer to alter the settings with reasonable ease to accommodate the lighting issues that seem to plague a lot of modern television. Also of note at reasonable prices are The Super Mario Bros. Movie at $9.99, Creed III at $9.99, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at $15.99, Top Gun: Maverick at $9.99, Everything Everywhere All At Once at $9.99, and Interstellar at $7.99.

Please note that this list is in no way exhaustive and there are tons of titles available across multiple platforms and multiple retailers. Most promotions on and around Black Friday are while supplies last and what titles get sent to what stores is kind of a mixed bag. Not every store gets every title. These prices were aggregated from a few stores including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and GameStop.

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