Dec 1, 2011

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Community Voice: Black Friday – How’d You Do?

Community Voice: Black Friday – How’d You Do?

Despite the recession, Americans still come out in droves for Black Friday weekend, either in person or online, and stores did their best to draw crowds (real or virtual). Nintendo had its special 3DS bundles and blue $99 Wii, Microsoft had several great deals on its console, as did Sony, not to mention many other great deals.

Personally, this year was great if you were in the market for a new console or handheld–you could pick up a Wii for $99, a 360 with Kinect for $150, and a PS3 for $199, for example–but it seemed to me like the deals on games themselves weren’t as great as they had been in year’s past.  Maybe it was my imagination, but it seems like some of the post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals (i.e., deals online or in-stores later this week) were sometimes better than those on Black Friday or Cyber Monday themselves.

For example, Amazon sold Deus Ex: Human Revolution several times during lightning deals for $28-30 for the console version (only about $10 off their price at the time) or $20 for the PC version; last night they offered the augmented version (not the standard version, being sold earlier) for $25 (360 or PS3). Obviously, the latter deal went very quickly. Similarly, for Black Friday weekend, several 3DS games went on lightning deals for $15 each; a day or two later, these same games reappeared for a dollar less each on lightning deals.

Could this maybe be a lesson Amazon is teaching to shoppers–it’s better to wait?

Either way, I ended up decently myself. I was desperate to track down a copy of the Zelda 3DS bundle, and after not having much luck online, headed out to Gamestop Friday, and waited in line to get one. The store had two left; the other store I’d called didn’t have any. I held my breath, crossed my fingers, and hoped that no one in front of me in the long line would want one.  Thankfully, when it got to be my turn, my wishes had been granted. I could easily have purchased the two remaining bundles, but it turned out the guy immediately behind me was in the exact same situation as me.  Not really needing the second one, I offered it to him (he was very grateful, too). So we both ended up with our post-Thanksgiving wishes after all. The best part of my Black Friday trek? My mom paid for it as a Christmas gift! So I walked out of there one very happy new 3DS owner.

Other than my 3DS, I picked up a few 3DS games during Amazon’s lightning deals, including Piliotwings Resort, Nintendogs + Cats (Don’t judge me! They call me “CuatroChihuahuas” for a reason!), and Bit Trip Saga. I also picked up Batman: Arkham City, and a few games for $5 or less from Steam.  I am finding that this week, a lot of retailers are working hard to keep me spending money, though, including Gamefly, which is having some stellar daily deals (including Alice: Madness Returns for only $13.49 if you have your 10% discount). So far I’ve been able to resist most of them. I already have enough on my plate and really don’t need to spend any more money, but I do find it hard to resist a really, really good deal.

How did you guys do? Did you pick up any great steals this weekend or this week? A lot of my friends managed to get PS3s over the holiday, for example.  What was your big Black Friday prize? Tell us your stories in the comments.

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