NerdWallet is here to help you win Black Friday, while leaving your budget intact. We spend the time, you save the money. Visit regularly for holiday shopping tips and announcements about your favorite retailers. Black Friday is Nov. 26.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are perhaps the hottest commodity of this year’s Black Friday sales. If you’re on a quest for one, prepare for disappointment.
Demand for these gaming systems has been through the roof since their release last year, but supply has failed to keep up. Some retailers may have the coveted consoles in stock around Black Friday, but don’t expect discounts or sufficient inventory.
Will there be PlayStation and Xbox Black Friday deals in 2021?
As of this writing, new Xbox and PlayStation systems are sold out at major retailers including Best Buy, Target and GameStop. We’re seeing devices for sale from third-party sellers at absurd markups, often hundreds of dollars above retail price. In some cases, devices are going for more than double the retail price.
There is a sliver of hope: Walmart and Target Black Friday ads include Xbox and PlayStation consoles (at full, regular price). Walmart is the only retailer advertising PS5 and Series X restocks so far. Check out the details below:
Walmart will have the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 for $499 each and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition console for $399. The consoles are available online only starting Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. Eastern time, while supplies last. Walmart+ members get online access four hours earlier than other shoppers.
Walmart’s event also features the Xbox Series S console for $299 starting Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. Eastern time online and Nov. 26 at 5 a.m. local time in stores.
Target will have the Xbox Series S for $299.99 in limited quantities online and in stores beginning Nov. 21.
Check back with electronics retailers frequently for updates on restocks. You can register for a chance to purchase a PS5 through PlayStation’s website, but it’s not a guarantee. If you spot an available device, act fast. Recent restocks have sold out within minutes.
Deals on previous-generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles might not be much easier to locate, unless you’re open to pre-owned or refurbished devices. The PlayStation site lists the 1TB PS4 as out of stock and advises shoppers to check back in mid-December.
However, Black Friday sales will deliver deals on games and accessories. PlayStation is currently offering 50% off select games. Target will have PlayStation and Xbox games for as low as $14.99 online and in stores from Nov. 21-27.
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How to decide if it’s worth it
Shoppers hoping to pick up a new PlayStation or Xbox this holiday season have limited options: Pay excessive markups to get a console now, or wait for retailers to restock the systems at regular price and risk not getting one at all.
If you have a Walmart+ membership, take advantage of the four-hour head start on online shopping. It’s possible that the Xbox and PlayStation consoles will sell out before nonmembers get access to the Black Friday sale. Not a Walmart+ member? You can sign up for the service and cancel at any time. It costs $12.95 per month or $98 per year. Note that you need to sign up for the paid membership, not the free trial membership, to get the early access.
Take a moment to decide whether these desirable consoles are worth the money and hassle. Settling for an alternative might be more sensible. Older models from third-party sellers and other systems, like the Nintendo Switch, are likely all you’re going to find in stock at a reasonable price.
How to budget for a PlayStation or Xbox
A video game console can be a pricey purchase, even if you don’t plan to drop $1,000 on a resale. Consider paying with a credit card that offers perks such as cash back or a no-interest period, if you have one. This can minimize the impact on your budget.
If you don’t find a PlayStation or Xbox this Black Friday, look on the bright side: You’ll have extra time to save up while you wait for the consoles to come back in stock.