Last week, we learned what to expect from the Walmart Black Friday 2020 deals, as the retailer explained its strategy for dealing with this year’s key sales period. In short, it amounts to the retail giant hiring more ‘associates’, staggering deals so people can do their shopping earlier and a safe in-store experience for those that want it. It’ll also include flexible delivery and pick-up options catering to people who want to buy online, which is increasingly popular in this pandemic-stricken year.
If you love games, and you’re going into this period looking to save money on a console or specific title, Walmart is worth keeping in mind. That’s because it’s cited videogames as one of its key product areas over the coming holiday shopping period – no doubt a response to the popularity of consoles like the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One over the course of a year where a lot of people have spent more time indoors.
In a press release, the retailer said “to ensure it offers gifts expected to top wish lists during this unique holiday season, Walmart has increased inventory in electronics, with a focus on TVs, laptops and video games.”
We also know, from our own experience covering Black Friday on previous years, that Walmart has some of the best bundle deals and software discounts around when it comes to holiday gift buying. Some of these can be found at other retailers too, but Walmart is another option if you see sellouts elsewhere.
Here’s what to expect from Walmart on the gaming side this year, based on 2019’s trends.
Why Walmart is worth watching for console bundle deals in 2020
Last year, Walmart had a number of great console bundle deals on offer for the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The highlight on the PS4 side was a $199 1TB PS4 slim bundle that included The Last of Us Remastered, Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War. We saw this bundle elsewhere, too, but anyone who picked that up was unlikely to be unhappy.
The highlight on the Xbox side was an Xbox One S All-Digital for $149.99 with several digital download games – including Minecraft and Sea of Thieves, both excellent ways to lose tens of hours. With 1TB of storage, too, this was a good-value purchase for the basic Xbox One.
The Nintendo Switch was less exciting, probably because the console is new enough that it doesn’t deep discounts to shift units – but nonetheless we saw the older model of the Switch (with a slightly lower battery life) bundled with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for $299.
This year is likely to be a different story. With the PS5 and Xbox Series X both releasing in November, and demand skyrocketing so much for both that we’ve seen widespread sellouts at the pre-order stage, it’s unlikely you’ll see either console discounted.
Assuming Walmart actually gets more stock for the next-gen consoles at launch, however, bundles aren’t out of the question.
More likely is steep clearance discounts on any remaining PS4 and Xbox One units – although those too have been in strong demand this year, so stock levels might be slimmer than you’d see in a pandemic-free year.
We’d expect to see some kind of bundle deal for the Nintendo Switch, or possibly its handheld variant, the Switch Lite.
Look out for discounts on major new releases
Still, we think games are where you should really be looking at Walmart this Black Friday – last year it was arguably the best when it came to individual software sales, particularly on big games released earlier that year. Here’s a sample of some of 2019’s best deals:
- Need For Speed Heat – $29.99
- Red Dead Redemption 2 – $29.99
- Borderlands 3 – $29.99
- NFL 20 – $29.99
- Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – $29.99
- Crash Team Racing – $24.99
- Spyro Reignited Trilogy – $24.99
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – $24.99
- Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order Deluxe Edition – $49.99 (later $39.99 for the base game in December)
Of those, Jedi Fallen Order, NFL 20, Borderlands 3 and Sekiro were the deals to get. All of those games released at various points in 2019 – each cost $59.99 at launch, so these savings were significant. We’d guess you’ll see some of 2020’s biggest games getting similar discounts this year, particularly with the generational transition coming up.
We’re hopeful we’ll see the likes of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, The Last of Us Part 2 and Marvel’s Avengers discounted at Walmart and other retailers this year. It might be too optimistic to expect Cyberpunk 2077 to drop in price, since that’s releasing on November 19, just over a week before Black Friday.
Even though both consoles will be backwards compatible with PS4 and Xbox One games, this is the last year either will be hot – so our prediction is that big savings are likely.
Expand your Switch library
While Switch discounts might be hard to come by during Black Friday, Nintendo Switch games are a different story. Nintendo’s own games – the Zelda and Mario titles, for example – tend to retain their value for many years. So when any of them drop in price, it’s a big deal.
That’s exactly what happened last year at Walmart. The following games were available for $30 – each is usually found for around $50:
- Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Mario Aces Tennis
- Resident Evil Origins Collection
- Splatoon 2
- Super Mario Party
Of those, Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2 were the ones to get. Even though each is multiple years old at this point, they’re dependable classics that every new Switch owner should pick up.
Ideally, we’ll see some discounts on more recent Nintendo games this year – Animal Crossing: New Horizons might be too much to wish for, given its popularity, but you never know.
Stay tuned for early deals
That’s what we’re expecting from Walmart on the gaming side this year, then – and the key piece of info we need to know is when the retailer is going to start rolling out its Black Friday deals. “The retailer will spread traditional Black Friday savings throughout the season and have more deals available online,” goes the announcement. “More details will be shared soon.”