The Black Friday Wars: What worked and what didn’t

Ah, yes, Black Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving when every person under the sun – at least those with a disposable income – goes out to shop for the best deals on just about everything.

And I do mean “everything.”

I am taking a break from playing “Forza Horizon 4” to tell you about which game companies had the best offerings and which ones absolutely flopped. It’s like the “Fashion Police,” but for Black Friday video game shopping.

For starters, let’s get the real stinkers out of the way – Nintendo did not do too hot. Most retail chains were told to sell their current flagship game console – the Nintendo Switch – for $299 and some change. And that’s just for the console on its own.

On top of that, some of those same retailers even sold the older version of the Switch, the one with shorter battery life, less RAM, and less, well, everything!

Don’t even get me started on Kohl’s and how they sold it for $319 – at least you get a carrying case and a charging dock for your Joycons, which makes it much more worthwhile than just the console alone.

Thankfully, Switch games were actually on sale for once! What a nice surprise!

As for the “winners,” Sony and Microsoft traded blows by selling their slimline consoles – the PlayStation 4 “Slim” and the Xbox One S, respectively – for a nice $199, both carrying some nice caveats along with purchasing them.

Sony sold their PS4s with games that are “Only on PlayStation,” such as “Horizon: Zero Dawn” Complete Edition, 2018’s “God of War,” and the PlayStation 3-era darling, “The Last of Us: Remastered.”

Microsoft, always one to not be outdone, gave gamers a greater degree of choice, providing buyers a chance to get a bundle with September’s trash fire, “NBA 2K20,” or one that included the recently released “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.”

These bundles were also sweetened by the fact you get one month of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass with them.

Of course, that’s not even getting into their higher-end offerings found in the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X.

While Sony and Microsoft lowered the price down so your wallet can take a less staggering hit in the $299 to $349 price range, Microsoft provided the same bundles, but with a stronger system and THREE months of Xbox Live Gold/Game Pass.

If you’re more of a fan of digital gaming, all three electronic console storefronts – Nintendo eShop, the PlayStation Store, and the Microsoft Store – had many awesome deals.

Steam, being the rulers of these types of sales, had their Autumn Sale, so PC gamers did not feel left out.

While I failed to take advantage of that Autumn Sale, as well as the PlayStation Store’s bevy of content, I did manage to get “Guacamelee 2: Complete” for about $6 via the Microsoft Store.

Now, as for who won this year’s spectacle, I have to go with Microsoft, despite my upbringing as a “PlayStation kid.” While both companies had many of their physical games on sale en masse for cheap, Microsoft just brought it to the people this year.

That said, if you need me, I’ll be playing the mess out of “Forza Horizon 4” until next year.

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