At the end of November every year, we can look forward to making a start on our Christmas shopping with Black Friday, as there’s alwyas thousands of deals to be found across big-name brands and retailers.
While it began as a one-day sale, it since grew to spanning the entire weekend, finishing on Cyber Monday. Now, pre-sales often begin the week before, and retailers such as Amazon even go as far as launching their deals two weeks before.
If you’re an avid gamer or are shopping for someone who is, mark your calendars with 27 November as some of the biggest savings can be found on consoles, controllers, games and bundles for Nintendo, Xbox One and PS4.
Last year the main retailers offering deals included Argos, John Lewis & Partners and Amazon, who are predicted to have even bigger reductions this year.
Here at IndyBest, our team will be providing a helping hand to navigate the sales, rounding up the best bargains to shop throughout Black Friday.
Our IndyBest team hand-picks every deal we feature. We may earn some commission from the links in this article, but our selections have been made independently and without bias. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
The gaming Black Friday deals to expect
Last year Currys had huge discounts on Xbox including an Xbox One S All-Digital Edition with Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves & Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription that came down from £199 to £129 and an Xbox One S with Dual Wireless Controllers, 1 TB that was reduced from £249 to £179
Elsewhere at John Lewis, this Microsoft Xbox One X Console, 1TB, with Wireless Controller and Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions Bundle dropped from £439.99 to £299.
Amazon also offered plenty of choice for shoppers with this Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare PS4 Pro Bundle (PS4) being reduced from £329.85 to £299 and this Fifa 20 PS4 Pro 1TB Bundle (PS4) that dropped from £326.07 to £299.99.
Meanwhile at Game, you could get a Nintendo Switch Console – Grey for £289, which was £314.98.
Argos was the place to go to pick up new games such as Overwatch Legendary Edition (PS4) which was £29.99 but was reduced to £12.99, and then FIFA 20 Legacy Edition (Nintendo Switch) came down from £45.99 to £38.99.
How to get the best Black Friday gaming deals?
Throughout the sale, our team at IndyBest will also be constantly updating the best bargains on everything from gaming to fashion to TVs and laptops so be sure to check back here.
Many brands also offer early-bird discounts with deals the week before Black Friday (27 November) such as Currys, and if you shop with Amazon, it has in previous years ran across two weeks.
How long will the discounts last?
For the majority of retailers, the sale finishes on Cyber Monday (30 November), but to ensure you’re not left disappointed, we’d recommend signing up to newsletters to get early notifications on pre-sales that begin ahead of Black Friday.
As the last big shopping event before Christmas, we’d recommend being organised ahead of time and making a list of everything you need before you begin browsing online.
How to choose the right console for you
The Independent’s technology editor, and avid gamer, Andrew Griffin has weighed in to explain the major differences, and help you choose the most suitable console for you.
This generation or next?
The next-generation is coming: both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S are now just weeks away. As such, it’s worth considering whether you want to buy the current run of consoles or wait for the new ones.
While it might seem obvious that the new ones are better, it isn’t quite that simple. They’ll still be a lot more expensive than the current generation, and historically it has taken some time for developers to get up to speed and make the most of the new capabilities of consoles. So there’s no need to worry that your Xbox One or PlayStation 4 will be immediately out of date.
These older versions will inevitably, of course, have less of a long life: over time, games will stop coming out for the current generation, and you’ll miss out on new updates. So weigh up how much you want the latest thing, how much of a good deal you might be able to get on the current generation, and whether you’re going to regret missing out as time goes on.
Nintendo Switch v everything else
To get this out the way: the Switch is an entirely different proposition, but one that’s not worth ruling out.
The games are incredible, the console is packed with fun, and Nintendo has pulled out a stroke of genius all around. It has its downsides – the graphics and performance are nowhere near as futuristic and powerful as the other bigger consoles – but that’s what you get for it all fitting in a box you can throw in your bag and play on the move.
There’s also the Switch Lite: a cheaper and lighter version that can be carried around, and will suit anyone on a budget, with limited space or who never wants to play it on their TV anyway.
Ultimately, you’re probably not deciding between a Switch and other consoles; but if you’re deciding whether to buy a Switch, then you should.
First, have a look at the various console exclusives that each platform has. If you want to play any of the Halo games, for instance, you’re going to want to get an Xbox; if you’re really into Death Stranding, then you’ll need a PlayStation.
But remember that almost every big game comes out for both consoles, so unless there’s something you’re especially keen on then that might not necessarily sway your decision.
Secondly, think about the exclusive features. The PlayStation has virtual reality features, and good ones; the Xbox hasn’t got round to that yet. On the other hand, the Xbox allows you to play games on the PC, too, and the Kinect is still clinging on.
But ultimately this comes down to VR – if you’re interested in getting your hands on a headset as soon as possible, the PlayStation wins out.
What are you used to?
Thirdly, have a think about the different controllers, and what you’re used to playing with. This, in my opinion, is the big thing that’s underappreciated about the differences between the Xbox and the PlayStation – which is strange when you consider that it’s the thing that’s most obviously different, about something that sits in your hands the entire time you’re playing.
The Xbox controller is bigger, tougher and more comfortable; the PlayStation one is smaller and some people find it to be a little more agile.
This ultimately comes down to what you’re used to and personal preference, so if you’ve played one console through all previous generations then it might be worth sticking with what you know.
Branding and design
And last of all comes the woolliest of all considerations – but the one that will probably make a difference. Think about the branding, design and look of the consoles, both hardware and software. From the outside, the PlayStation is a little less sleek, all tumbling lines and curves; the Xbox is significantly more square and a little more contemporary.
Once you boot it up, the PlayStation is more of a swirl of colour and beeps; the Xbox is a little more practical and down-to-earth.
X/Pro v normal
Both the Xbox and PS4 now have more expensive versions: the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro. You pay more for them but you also get better performance, which allows for graphic improvements, 4K gaming and faster loading speeds. Whether to get one really depends entirely on whether you have the money to spend and the desire to spend it; you’ll basically get the same thing both ways, but your experience will be cosmetically improved for more money.
Read more on Black Friday 2020
How to get the best Black Friday deals this year – When the sale starts, how to get the best savings, and how to prepare
Best Amazon Black Friday deals – There will be millions of deals, so check in here for our pick of the best
Best Currys PC World Black Friday deals – For everything from TVs to laptops, and kettles to coffee machines
Best Black Friday Fashion deals – Treat yourself to new wardrobe and tick off your Christmas shopping list
Best Black Friday Beauty deals – Top up your bathroom cabinet, with hundreds of deals on make-up, skincare, haircare and fragrance
Best Black Friday TV deals – Update your at-home cinema experience without paying full price with our featured deals
Best Black Friday laptop deals – There’s hundreds of pounds to be saved on laptops from big-name brands such as Apple, Microsoft and HP
Best Argos Black Friday deals – Covering everything from kids to homewares and fitness to DIY
Best Apple Black Friday deals – The tech giant is notorious for not participating in Black Friday, so how can you find deals on Apple products? Find out in our guide
The stores taking part in Black Friday – Our predictions based on last year, which we’ll be updating as the deals begin
Best Amazon Black Friday deals 2020: What to expect in the sale
Best Argos Black Friday deals 2020: What to expect in the sale
Black Friday 2020: The best Currys deals we predict will be on offer
Best John Lewis Black Friday deals 2020: what to expect in the sale
Best Black Friday beauty deals 2020: Offers to expect in the sale
Best Black Friday fashion deals 2020: What to expect in the sale
Best Apple Black Friday deals 2020: Offers to expect