For those of you looking to bring a shiny, new next-gen console home for the holidays: Rejoice. While permanent console price cuts have yet to be announced, special holiday pricing and bundles are on par to give consumers more of what the next-gen has to offer for their buck this holiday season.
With Xbox One sales trailing behind Sony’s PS4, Microsoft is aggressively pushing console sales this holiday season by offering a limited-time discount: $50 off Xbox One consoles beginning November 2nd at most retailers in the U.S. The special savings extends to several of Microsoft’s official bundles, as well. The “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” bundle is particularly enticing with its grey and gold accent paint job, custom controller and 1TB hard drive. Plus, for gamers who like downloading games and other content, the extra hard drive capacity is likely to stave off the need to buy an external hard drive anytime soon. At $449 after the holiday price cut, it’s not a bad deal, especially if you were planning to purchase “Advanced Warfare” at launch, anyway.
If hard drive space and the next installment of CoD aren’t a primary concern, consider the “Assassin’s Creed Unity” or “Sunset Overdrive” bundles. For $349 (post discount), they both come with a copy of the respective games, the console and a controller. The “Sunset Overdrive” bundle includes a special edition white console and controller, while the “Assassin’s Creed” bundle comes with a standard black console and controller, plus a download voucher for last year’s “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.”
Finding an equally impressive deal on a PlayStation 4 might be a bit tougher this season, as Sony has yet to announce its holiday specials. Even still, Sony could opt out, as the PS4 demand is already much higher than that of Xbox One. In fact, “Destiny” is the only console bundle Sony is offering. The deal comes with a limited edition white console, controller and copy of the game for a suggested retail price of $449. To get more for your money, look to retailers for special store-specific bundles and promotions. For example, Walmart’s Cyber Monday and Black Friday will likely include the $459 “Console Solution” bundle that includes the standard black console, two controllers plus the choice of any game from a pre-selected list. If “LittleBigPlanet 3” is on your holiday list, getting an extra controller or two is recommended, as the game touts new (local) multiplayer features.
With exclusive titles like “Mario Kart 8,” “Bayonetta 2,” “Hyrule Warriors” and “Super Smash Bros.” for Wii U, Nintendo has quite a few games in this year’s holiday lineup that target both kids and hardcore gamers. This holiday season also hosts the launch of amiibo, Nintendo’s new “toys-to-life” venture. Taking a cue from “Disney Infinity” and “Skylanders,” Nintendo is making mobile figures of iconic characters that players can train in amiibo-compatible games, including “Mario Kart 8” and “Super Smash Bros.”
Since the Wii U and its respective bundles have been on shelves for several years, be on the lookout for retailer-specific price cuts and specials; however, for those concerned about storage space, be leery of bundles including the white 8GB console, which limits your available hard drive memory for games and downloads. Most bundles are priced at $299 and include the console, gamepad and at least one game (if not two).
Many of Nintendo’s popular titles are fun to play in the living room, so you’ll probably want to have multiple controllers. You can save a little on peripherals if you have Wii MotionPlus controllers for the Wii. The Wii Remotes with the external or built-in MotionPlus accessory also work with the Wii U and eliminate the need to buy additional Wii-U Motion Plus controllers for multiplayer games.
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