It's a great year to buy an Xbox One S. Microsoft's console is as good a bargain as its ever been, having gone through many refinements since its 2013 launch and developing a deep library of excellent games to boot. And if you're looking to pick one up at any point, the best day of the year is fast approaching: Black Friday, where the deals can sometimes be deceptive but video game hardware is typically a good bet. So if you're out hunting for an Xbox One this Black Friday, here are some pointers. All deals below will be for the Xbox One S, as there are no specific deals on the just-released Xbox One X.
As in year's past, there's a standard deal that you're going to see come up at nearly all retailers with this machine on offer. This year it's $189.99 for a 500 gb Xbox One S console. So that's your word of warning: while there is going to be some variance in what you can actually get when you waltz into a store, you should under no circumstances be paying anything above this price for an Xbox One S console without a bundled game. And you can find this deal with no frills attached at places like Amazon, Best Buy, Dell, Newegg and more. Don't be afraid of snagging any of these consoles, you're getting a good deal.
That being said, some retailers are distinguishing themselves by offering cash back in addition to the console, thereby bringing the effective price down. And those are going to be your three lowest options for buying an Xbox One S this holiday season, listed below. Cash back deals appear to apply to in-store purchases:
Because you'll still need to buy a game with your console, GameStop probably represents the best deal you're going to find, at least by $5. Depending on your options, however, Target or Kohl's might be more appealing due to the broader range of goods you can get with cash at those retailers.
The Microsoft Store will also be offering the $189.99 console with 1-month of Xbox Game Pass and a free Ubisoft game -- albeit from a pretty limited selection. If you're looking to spend a bit more, there's a bit more value from more complex bundles, however. The Microsoft store will also be offering two free games along with any Xbox One S Bundle -- that's three games in total once you factor in the already-bundled game. And since all those bundles will also be $50 off, you're ending up with a pretty decent discount.
Walmart will also be taking $50 off any Xbox One S bundle, offering you a bit more flexibility. Going for a game-less bundle, however, will allow you a lot more flexibility in what game you want to buy, which can come in handy considering all the deeply discounted games available as well. If you're thinking about buying a bundle, you might want to see if the game you want is discounted for less than the additional bundling price you'd be paying. And if you're thinking of buying Star Wars Battlefront 2, I'd advise against it.
There will also be some deals on accessories: all the retailers listed above will be cutting the price of controllers from $59.99 down to $39.99, so go ahead and pick up an extra if you've got a mind to play some local multiplayer.
It's also worth noting that GameStop will be offering pre-owned Xbox 360s for $59.99 with a mail-in rebate for... $59.99. Can't beat that price.