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The Best Gaming Bundles on Black Friday 2019

Traditionally, Black Friday is the perfect time of year to save big when it comes to video gaming. Recently, sale pricing has drifted away from big savings on consoles and instead shifted to focus on huge discounts on some of the hottest video games. This year is no different and, for the first time in many years, there is a massive drought at all major retailers when it comes to video game console bundles.

Next year, Sony and Microsoft will both be releasing the next models in their respective console lines. Fans are quite anxious to get their hands on the new Playstation 5, which could release by May 2020. Microsoft has kept much of their new console, titled Project Scarlet for the time being, under wraps. Although not much is known about what these consoles will have under the hood, we do know that they are definitely releasing next year. And as such, consumers may want to think twice before dropping a lot of cash on a video game console during this year’s Black Friday.

Having said that, the Nintendo Switch continues to dominate video game console sale charts. The recent release of Pokemon Sword and Shield have helped solidify that the console will reign supreme once again this holiday season. Smart shoppers will definitely want to know that there are three different models of the Nintendo Switch currently available at retailers: the old Nintendo Switch model, the new Nintendo Switch model, and the Nintendo Switch Lite. The Lite is purely meant for handheld play and will not connect to your television for gaming. The old model Switch works perfectly well, but Nintendo updated the console hardware this summer and released a new model (same design) that has better battery life. The main way to tell the old from the new is via the box: the new model Switch box is mostly red.

Which Store has the Best Playstation 4 Bundle on Black Friday 2019?

The Playstation 4 comes in three different unique models; the generic Playstation 4 1TB model, the Playstation 4 Slim 1TB model, and the Playstation 4 Pro. The first two models are nearly the exact same, with the one defining difference being the size of the unit (the slim is the slimmer model of the two). The Playstation 4 Pro is the only model that can play games in 4K, hence the higher price tag than the other models.

This year, almost every retailer has the same Playstation 4 bundles. The bundle that most retailers seem to have is the Playstation 4 1TB model, bundled with three games: God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and The Last of Us Remastered. These are Playstation exclusive titles and can all generally be found for $10 or less. The games included with this bundle are, hands down, some of the best exclusive titles that can be found on the console. Every retailer has this bundle for $199.

Both Sam’s Club and Kohl’s are running a slightly different bundle, with the Playstation 4 Slim 1TB being included with their packaged deal. Sam’s Club’s bundle features three games (not shown or discussed) while Kohl’s bundleincludes Fortnite Neo Versa and $60 in Kohl’s Cash. Fortnite is free on every console, but this version of Fortnite includes goodies that players would normally have to pay extra to receive. These two bundles are priced the same as the one above at $199, so the only real difference is the games and the Slim design.

Only two stores, Gamestop and Meijer, feature the Playstation 4 Pro in their ad. At Gamestop, shoppers will receive a $25 coupon to use on their next purchase (doesn’t activate until the day after it is issued and expires on 1/31/2020). Both of these retailers have the system advertised for only $299 in their Black Friday ads.

We recommend going with the Playstation Pro over the other models, strictly because the resell value on the Pro will hold up after the Playstation 5 is released, whereas the other regular and the Slim models will likely drop significantly in value. Gamestop is giving a free coupon with the system on Thursday and Friday only, so we recommend snagging one on Thursday and then using the coupon on Friday or Saturday for additional savings on discounted games.

If you’re not looking to spend the extra $100 on the Pro model, we highly recommend Kohl’s bundle due to the significant amount of cash back via their Kohl’s Cash option. 

Which Store has the Best Xbox One Bundle on Black Friday 2019?

Similar to the Playstation, there are multiple models of the Xbox One as well. The initial release of the console featured just the Xbox One system. Several years into the life of the console, Microsoft released an updated version called the Xbox One S. The biggest difference with this model is that it can play and stream 4K video content. It cannot play games in 4K. A year after the release of the Xbox One S, Microsoft released their higher-end model in the form of the Xbox One X. This model of the console is slimmer, sleeker, has a completely different power source, and can stream video and play games in 4K. Like the Playstation 4 Pro, we recommend the Xbox One X over the other versions for its future resell value.

Microsoft added a new version of the Xbox One S this year by removing the optical disc drive and only allowing digital content to be added to the console. This version is great for gamers who dislike physical media, while also serving as one of the very least expensive methods of adding a 4K video player to your home. 

If you’re most interested in the Xbox One S Digital console, Walmart, Gamestop, and Best Buy all have the exact same bundle for the exact same price. If you frequently shop at Best Buy, we recommend making the purchase there due to earning points towards their Rewards loyalty program for additional savings.

If you have your sights on the Xbox One S non-digital console, then we recommend picking it up at either Target or Kohl’s. Both retailers have the Xbox One S bundled with the latest Star Wars game: “Jedi Fallen Order”. Additionally, both of these retailers are offering savings back in the form of a Target Gift Card or Kohl’s Cash. The purchase at Target will net you a $40 Target Gift Card whereas Kohl’s is giving you back $60 in Kohl’s cash. We recommend picking up at the store you shop at the most, so the incentive matters to you more.

Overall, we highly recommend going with the Xbox One X console for the exact same reasons we listed above for the Playstation 4 Pro. This is the upper tier of the available models and it will definitely be worth more when you decide to resell the device. Having said that, it is very hard to recommend a specific retailer for Black Friday 2019 due to the high variance at each retailer when it comes to Xbox One X bundles. The cheapest option is at Kohl’s for $350 and comes with $105 Kohl’s Cash with the purchase, however it is bundled with a game that is not in high demand: “NBA 2K20”. The second cheapest option is Target, which has bundled the console with “Gears of War 5” (not to be confused with the Gears of War Xbox One X bundle) and a $40 Target Gift Card. However, while this might appear cheap, it should be noted that “Gears of War 5” is free to play for anyone with Xbox Game Pass. Having said all of that, we want to bring particular attention to Walmart’s ad, which specifically states that all of their Xbox One bundles will be $350 for Black Friday. There are various games bundled with Xbox One Xs at Walmart, so smart shoppers will want to browse their local collection to see if one of those bundled games looks better than either of the ones from Target or Kohl’s.

Which Store has the Best Nintendo Switch Bundle on Black Friday 2019?

Last year, Nintendo shipped to retailers a version of the Nintendo Switch that came prepacked with a code for “Mario Kart 8.” Some retailers included additional incentives, like Gamestop, which paired the bundle with a $50 gift card. That deal was quite the steal last year, so much so that almost every retailer repeated the deal again this year. 

That’s right, nearly every retailer has the exact same Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 bundle as they did last year, however, there are some changes that have made this deal not as great as it was last year. It’s been confirmed that the model of the Switch included in these Mario Kart 8 bundles are not the newest model Switch with longer battery life. Instead, these are last year’s models. Since the newest model is better, it may be best to avoid these particular bundles (and Gamestop has lowered their savings to only a $25 coupon, rather than the $50 gift card like last year). If you know the Mario Kart 8 bundle is the one you have your sights on, then you’ll definitely want to hit up Gamestop on Thursday or Friday for the deal. Best Buy’s bundle includes a free screen protector, but those are much cheaper than the $25 you’d get back at Gamestop.

There are two exceptions to our recommendation: Sam’s Club has the new Switch model in a bundle that includes a car charger, a Mario controller (similar to the Pro controller), and a Mario case for $335. The new Switch only costs $299, so this bundle is only worth it to you if you’re interested in those extra accessories for an additional $35. The other exception is Kohl’s, which has a Nintendo Switch bundled with a carrying case, a Joycon (controller) charging station, and $90 in Kohl’s Cash for only $320. It is unclear if this bundle includes the new Switch model, but we do know that it does not include Mario Kart 8.