Yes, the Wii is pretty much at the end of its life cycle. But holy crap: A new version of the console, available exclusively at Walmart, will sell for $99 on Black Friday bundled with a Wii-mote (with Motion Plus built in) and Nunchuk. This is perfect for a hardcore gamer who passed on the Wii because it wasn't serious enough (but still wants to play Mario and Zelda games), or for a casual gamer who wouldn't mind waggling in his living room. The only catch: According to reports, unlike previous versions of the Wii, Walmart's blue Wii won't be backward compatible with GameCube games and controllers, and it won't have Wi-Fi.
At a price point of $199, the Xbox 360 console normally comes with nothing but a little bit of internal memory. But for that price on Black Friday, Best Buy will toss in a 250 GB hard drive, three months of Xbox Live, and two high-profile games, the RPG Fable III and the FPS Halo: Reach. I personally found Fable III kind of disappointing (I gave it a 3.7/5 in my review, which you can read here), but Reach is one of the best games the Halo franchise has given us. If you've been waiting to buy a 360 and don't mind waiting in line for one, this is a great opportunity.
Best Buy's PS3 deal isn't quite as impressive; it's the same deal many other retailers are offering for Black Friday. Nonetheless, it's not half bad: For $199, you get a console with a 160 GB hard drive, along with the excellent LittleBigPlanet 2 and the not-particularly-well-received Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (Metacritic score: 70).
Also, if it's a 3DS you want, you'll pay the regular price of $170, but you'll get a copy of Super Mario 3D Land in addition to the console. And they will be offering the Wii with a copy of Super Mario Bros Wii for a price they have yet to announce; Sears will have the same bundle for $135. (Again, beware that some of the Wiis being released this holiday season lack previously included features. Wiis bundled with NSMBW won't be GameCube compatible.)
I always tell people not to buy brand new games—they come way down in price if you just wait a little bit (see here)—but it's Christmas, and all the greedy gamers want the latest and greatest. Fortunately, almost every retailer is offering some of the biggest new games for about half off this Black Friday.
At Walmart, you can grab Batman: Arkham City, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Infamous 2 for $28 each. Toys R Us is offering a buy-one-get-one-for-$5 deal on games including Gears 3, Battlefield 3, Black Ops, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Uncharted 2. Best Buy has Assassin's Creed: Revelations for $35, as well as BF3, Gears 3, and Rage for $30. Target has BF3, Gears 3, Madden 12, and Resistance 3 for $37.
I'm sure there are personal favorites and least favorites which failed to make this list, so, by all means, use the comments section below to plead the case for your entry, or to reopen the wounds of a horrid game worthy of an extra dash of salt.
By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*