Best gaming systems of 2012
By Phil Hornshaw
Grabbing a new gaming console can be tough. For one, they’re expensive. Further, new models of existing machines seem to come out every year. There are now three versions of both the PlayStation and the Xbox 360, for instance, and the Nintendo Wii is about to get replaced by a new generation machine called the Wii-U.
With all of these different options – plus the fact that consoles are always on the pricey side – finding a good deal can seem like a tougher challenge than getting to the kill screen on Donkey Kong.
But it doesn’t have to be that hard if you know where to look – and when.
Timing is everything
Paying a little bit of attention to the release of new SKUs of existing gaming consoles can net you some big savings. Sony just announced a new version of its PlayStation 3 that comes bundled with a game and includes a bunch of extras. It runs more quietly and takes up less space than its predecessors.
Now is a great time to grab a PlayStation 3, either with its new bundle or with older versions of the machine that are marked down for clearance. Best Buy and Target are good places to check for potential deals, either on game consoles or the various peripherals you will need like controllers, games and online content.
Off the beaten path
Some of the best places to look for gaming goods are in stores that you might not have otherwise thought of for video gaming like Sears. Getting a $30 Sears gift card for purchasing an Xbox 360 or Nintendo 3DS with this deal, for example, might make these systems a lot more viable as gifts this holiday season. Other sellers such as Panasonic or Dell will occasionally offer lower prices and good shipping deals too.
Go with what you know
Finally, there are the stores that sell games all the time, such as GameStop. One of the things GameStop offers more than other retailers are pre-owned items. If you’re willing to go with a refurbished PlayStation or Xbox, you can slice a few bucks off the price in addition to what rewards you can nab with cash back.
And if a new console isn’t really your speed but you still want to do some gaming, consider retailers such as GameHouse, which specialize in games you can play on your computer or in your browser. Most of the big games you typically see on consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 get PC releases that are just as good (often better) if you have a good computer.