If you thought the console-buying race would be a little easier this Black Friday, think again. The semiconductor shortage has made it incredibly difficult to secure a PlayStation 5 for the past year, so it’ll be as hot as ever during this year’s shopping festivities. If you want to secure one, it’ll mean waking up at the crack of dawn and beating the line. It might be worth the drama though; this is your rare chance to get one before the holidays. Here’s what you need to know to snag one this year.
Black Friday is the best time to buy a PS5 — but shop early deals
Consider this a stern warning: You do not want to wait to get a PS5 this year. If you’re hoping you’ll find one in stores a week before Christmas, a harsh reality check is coming your way. Black Friday could be your last opportunity to secure one and you should treat it as such.
Last is the key word here. If you can get a PS5 before the rush, you should. There’s no guarantee it’ll arrive in time for the holidays if you order on Black Friday (due to chip shortages), so the earlier you can get it, the better. You’ll want to keep your eye on retailers like Best Buy and Walmart, who tend to put new stock up in waves. If you want to wait for Black Friday deals, consider it an emergency option if all else fails.
The important thing here is not to be too precious about finding the best savings. Considering that the console is one year old and still as hot as ever, discounts aren’t very likely. No matter where you go, it’ll cost you $500 (or $550 for a version with a disc drive), so we don’t recommend waiting to see if that price tag will go down. Gaming consoles don’t tend to get big discounts in general, so you’ll pay the same amount whenever you get it.
Rather than big price cuts, you’ll want to keep an eye out for bundles instead. Some retailers, like GameStop, tend to sell the PS5 in a pricier pack that comes with a few games, an extra controller, or more. The price tags on bundles like that can look steep, but they can be cost-effective in the long term. You’re rarely just buying a console for someone. Generally, you’ll usually want to throw in a game or a PS Plus subscription to complete the package. Bundles are a great way to kill a few birds with one stone and make sure your loved ones can actually start playing their PS5 right away.
Why buy a PS5
A PS5 is worth the headache and $500, depending on your gaming needs. It’s an excellent console that includes some unique features. The Dualsense controller is especially exciting, as it includes haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. That makes PS5 games feel more immersive than they do on any other console.
It’s a technical powerhouse, too. With the right TV, you’ll be able to enjoy select games in 4K at 60 frames per second. Drop down to 1080p and you’ll get 120 frames per second, which is equally impressive. If you’re not able to build a high-end PC (or don’t want to spend the money), the PS5 is currently a fair alternative. You can’t upgrade it, but the system is a little future-proofed, as Sony plans to add 8K support eventually.
The main reason to grab a PS5 is its library of games. Like Nintendo, Sony has doubled down on console exclusives that you won’t find on any other system. While the system didn’t have many must-own titles last year, 2021 is a different story. Games like Deathloop, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Returnal are all some of the year’s best major titles. They can’t be played on a PS4, so you’ll need to get the most current PlayStation if you want to try them (Deathloop is on PC, but it’s more stable on PS5).
If you don’t buy a new system now, you’re probably going to at some point. Some games are still supporting the old generation, but that’s sure to change in the next year or two. If you want to make sure you have access to any new title, you’ll want to keep up with the current gen. As far as new consoles go, there’s a good reason the PS5 has been such a hot commodity. With upcoming PS5 games like Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok coming next year, it’ll be the console to own in 2022.