Those brave enough to dive into the early morning insanity of Black Friday can find TVs, computers and smart phones for mere pennies on the dollar.
(Getty Images)This year, though, some of the best bargains will be found on video games. As the industry struggles to boost retail sales and consoles hit middle age, the discounting on some of the year's best titles will be hard to resist -- assuming you're willing to wake up early for the doorbuster specials.
If you're hoping to find the year's biggest game -- Modern Warfare 3 -- on sale anywhere, though, brace yourself for disappointment. The game is such a strong seller throughout the year that it's perhaps the only title in the industry that doesn't typically see price cuts in its first six months.
That said, here's a rundown of some of the best deals from some of the biggest stores at the local mall or shopping center.
The nation's largest retailer is slashing prices to lure in the folks who have yet to adorn their living room with a console. A Wii system (an exclusive, snazzy blue one, no less) will cost just $99, while $200 will buy you your choice of either an Xbox 360 or PS3 bundle. The company's offering two options at that price point: an Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect, Kinect Adventures and a $50 gift card, or a 160GB PS3 with Ratchet & Clank All 4 One, LittleBigPlanet 2 and 3 months of Plus membership.
Just looking to add to your game collection? There are plenty of the year's best titles deeply discounted as well. $28 will get you Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, Infamous 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops. For a mere $15, you'll be able to snag Dance Central 2, Kinect Sports Season Two and Epic Mickey.
Just be wary: the electronics section at Wal-Mart on Black Friday is one of the scariest places on earth. Brace yourself.
The blue light special here is savings of up to $25 on recent titles. Battlefield 3 and the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection are being slashed to $35 and you can get any current EA Sports title for $40. Driver: San Francisco, meanwhile, will sell for a low $20 and Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures, expected to be one of the hottest gifts this year, will sell for just $50 (a $20 savings off of the starter pack).
You'll also find the Xbox 360 for $150 and a standalone Kinect for $99. No reason to wake up early for those, though. They'll be available all day at that price.
If you're looking for a beefier Xbox 360 than Wal-Mart and Kmart are offering, Best Buy might be the place to go. For $200, you'll get a new system with a 250GB hard drive, as well as hit games Fable III and Halo: Reach as well as a 3-Month Xbox LIVE pass. The store's PS3 bundle is similar to Wal-Mart's — though it doesn't offer the Plus membership.
Game specials include Rage for $40, Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3 for $30 and Assassin's Creed: Revelations for $35. And if you somehow missed the first Gears of War, it makes a good stocking stuffer at a super cheap $8.
Toys R Us
The toy giant will offer the expected console discounts, but its big draw is a buy one, get one free sale on more than 40 DS titles (with a half-dozen Wii games thrown in to shake things up). For more recent titles like Forza 4, Gears of War 3 and Dance Central, it's buy one, get one for $5.
They're handy deals if you're already committed to going to the store, but if not, you can probably find better prices elsewhere.
The leading video game retailer isn't leading the race to the bottom on pricing this year, but it does match most of the big deals being offered by big-box stores.