The last couple of years have been tough for the semi-traditional Black Friday deal hunt. The pandemic has put a damper on the yearly in-store shopping rush, and now supply chain problems are making it difficult to find computers, consoles, GPUs, and all sorts of other things. So buying some gear (let alone at a discount) has been a challenge. Nonetheless, while you still can’t find a PS5 or an RTX graphics card on store shelves for love nor money, shoppers should be able to grab some Black Friday gaming deals on PC and console accessories.
How will supply chain problems affect Black Friday gaming deals?
A combination of semiconductor shortages, a cryptocurrency market boom, and annoying scalpers have driven up demand for both recent game consoles and graphics cards. That means that if you’re hunting for a deal on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, new OLED Switch, or any kind of Nvidia or AMD graphics card, you’ll be disappointed. Frankly, you’ll be incredibly lucky just to find these items in stock at their retail prices.
Other gaming items, especially individually sold games themselves, will be less affected. You should still be able to find deals on most computer components (with the possible exception of the newest and most powerful CPUs), and gaming accessories like keyboards, mice, monitors, speakers, and controllers. Stock may be more limited—and prices somewhat higher—than experienced shoppers are used to.
Best Buy appears to have a solid stock of Xbox Series S units shipping to at least some areas, with a smattering of retail availability. Other retailers might also have a few units, but don’t hold out for a Series X.
Nintendo Switch + Mario Kart 8 + 3 Months Switch Online [Currently Unavailable]
From: Best Buy Non-bundle price: $370 Now: $300
The Switch is still hard to find years after its initial launch. This bundle includes a digital copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and three months of Nintendo’s online service, a value of about $70, for the base price tag of the Switch alone.
This Ryzen-powered entry-level gaming PC won’t bust any benchmarks, but it’s a great place to start if you’re on a budget. You can add a GTX 1660 Super graphics card for under $100, or a newer RTX 3060 for just $320.
Not only is this a perfectly good starting place for a gaming desktop, with enough power to play most games at low-to-medium settings, it’s got tons of room for improvements later. It also comes with a decent mouse and keyboard!
This smaller HP desktop is running an older CPU-GPU combo, but its 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Wi-Fi 6 wireless, and USB Type-C port make it a great choice for those who want an all-around work PC that can also handle a few games.
This beefy laptop from Asus includes a blazing-fast Core i9 processor, an RTX 3060 graphics card, a 1TB SSD, and 16GB of memory. With a 165Hz 2560×1600 screen that’s considerably better than 1080p, it’s a steal.
This high-end laptop with a 15-inch 4K OLED screen, 11th-gen Core i7 processor, and a beefy RTX 3080 graphics card is over a grand off its retail price. Unfortunately $300 of that is in the form of a mail-in rebate.
SSDs are great for speed, but good old-fashioned spinning plates can’t be beat. B&H is offering a steep discount on this Western Digital Red Plus hard drive, at capacities from 1TB all the way to an incredible 14TB.
This slightly more affordable Ryzen chip is still a fantastic powerhouse thanks to an octo-core design, and an included cooler and embedded GPU make it a great choice for a system that’s not exclusively focused on gaming.
From: Amazon Was: $299 Now: $299 with free $50 voucher
The Quest 2 is one of the best-value VR headsets around and, although the price hasn’t dropped, the deal has been sweetened with a $50 Amazon voucher when you enter the code OCULUS50 at checkout. Note that it can only be used against items sold by Amazon, not third-party sellers.
Okay, technically this is a mobile accessory, a fantastic little clip-on controller for your Android phone. But it’s also a really great companion to streaming services like Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Stadia.
This official controller from Microsoft is the ultimate in comfort and customization for any game that doesn’t work well with a mouse and keyboard. Despite the Xbox branding, it works great on PC and mobile.
Most of the major retailer suspects are already offering deals on gaming gear, and the major PC manufacturers are offering some of the same discounts they generally do. Some of these are labeled as “early Black Friday deals,” some aren’t, but there are discounts to be found either way.
Amazon— Amazon’s pre-Black Friday hub is a grab bag of random discounts, but it’s heavily peppered with electronics of all kinds. Check the site (or ours!) for ongoing, limited-time deals on Thursday and Friday.
Newegg — Newegg’s Black Friday deals run all week.
Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.