Good afternoon! It’s been two years since the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X debuted on the market and consumers are still struggling to find consoles for retail price. Fortunately, I think many of you will find success this year with a few hints. Here’s my advice to grab a brand new video game console before Christmas.
Nintendo Switch OLED
In case you didn’t know yet, the Switch OLED is widely available from multiple retailers, both online and physical stores. I regularly see the Switch OLED available through Amazon, Target, GameStop, Walmart, Best Buy, and the Nintendo Store.
Naturally, the PlayStation 5 has the highest demand and it’s the most difficult console to purchase. However, it’s not impossible. In fact, the PS5 can be available on certain websites for a handful of days at a time. However, there’s a catch. You probably need to purchase a bundle. That’s actually not a bad thing. Many players want extra controllers, headsets, and a good selection of games. Bundles actually give you a solid discount of various goods. Sorry, but gaming is a pricy hobby.
Unfortunately, Amazon changed their policies for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. You can sign up for an invite. That means the majority of people won’t be allowed to purchase a console. If you want to snag a PS5 through Amazon, follow Wario64 on Twitter. He has legit insider knowledge about retailers. I know it’s true because his tips worked for me several times. He lets people know periodically when Amazon is going to send invites on certain dates. That’s when you should ask Amazon for an invite. Keep in mind, you must be a member of Amazon Prime.
Who the heck is Antonline? It’s an online gaming retailer who primarily caters to people who build their own PCs. Occasionally, I find PS5 bundles with really good items. Fewer people buy from this retailer, so inventory can last for several days. You can find God of War Ragnarok bundles as we speak. It will cost more, but I believe their bundles are worth the price. I haven’t bought anything from them personally, which means I can’t vouch from experience. You can keep this one in mind if other retailers fail to produce consoles.
Rarely, I see the PlayStation 5 available on BestBuy.com. There’s a really huge catch. Usually, you need to be a member of their Total Tech service and it has an annual membership of $200, if I remember correctly. I would only recommend this option for people who already have Total Tech memberships. Regardless, consoles sell out in minutes.
In my opinion, PlayStation Direct is the best and most reliable way to purchase a console. It’s an official PlayStation retailer, so they prioritize this website over competitors. I see regular consoles for sale once in a while, but most of their inventory is bundles. Again, it costs more, but their merchandise is good. Bundles appear frequently and last for several days, sometimes an entire week or more. Keep checking PlayStation Direct on a regular basis. You should find a console pretty soon. I saw God of War bundles earlier today. Make sure you have a PlayStation account. You must sign-in to purchase anything from this website. It’s okay. A basic PlayStation account is free.
Sometimes I see individual consoles available on Walmart. If you really want a basic console without the price of bundles, this is probably the best retailer at the moment. However, inventory is limited and they only sell consoles once in a while. Keep your eyes glued to Wario64 or check Walmart.com frequently. Either way, you might find a basic console eventually. PS5 consoles can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
Xbox Series X
I find the Xbox Series X seriously undervalued in the gaming market. It’s much easier to find the Xbox Series X compared to the PlayStation 5. Also, Xbox Game Pass is a killer subscription service. Think of it as Netflix for video games. You can download hundreds of games and play them without a purchase, including many day one releases. Xbox Game Pass is $14.99 per month and several Xbox exclusive titles are coming out next year.
It’s the same situation with the PS5. Watch tweets from Wario64 and sign-up for invites on specific dates. I can’t guarantee you’ll receive an invite at all, but some people will get lucky.
I see bundles for the Xbox Series X on this website every day. Like I said earlier, I’ve never purchased merchandise from this retailer. Check it out, if you wish.
They sell consoles sometimes. You have to purchase the console online and choose a physical store for pick up. Best Buy runs out of stock frequently, but they also receive inventory on a regular basis. Just check the inventory for your closest stores. You can probably find something eventually without paying for bundles. Inventory can last for a few days at time. Usually, you don’t need to worry about a Total Tech membership for the Xbox Series X.
I saw Xbox Series X bundles on Costco.com earlier today. It’s normally the console and two black controllers. Their bundles are very basic. You must have a Costco membership to purchase consoles. They sell out sometimes, but inventory comes back in stock frequently.
As expected, Microsoft prioritizes their online store. You can buy consoles every day from this website. Often, you must build a bundle. You can plunk in a number of items, including games, controllers, Game Pass memberships, headsets, etc. Periodically, they also sell individual consoles as well. I might be wrong, but it seems like you need a Microsoft account to purchase an Xbox Series X from them. Truthfully, I already have a Microsoft account, so it’s hard to tell. Just like PlayStation, a Microsoft account is completely free.
This company is a competitor to Costco. You need to have a membership to purchase a console. Also like Costco, Sam’s Club tends to have basic bundles nearly every day. It’s fine if you already have a membership. I wouldn’t recommend buying a Sam’s Club membership for the sake of the Xbox Series X. You have plenty of options.
Believe it or not, Target has a secret inventory in most stores. Don’t pay attention to the inventory shown online. Just walk inside one of your local Target stores and ask a rep in the electronics area if they have the Xbox Series X in stock. They might actually have consoles in the store. It’s hit or miss. They run out of merchandise and restock after a bit. Basically, every Target has Xbox Series X consoles in the back and they don’t tell anyone. It’s worth asking on a regular basis. You’ll probably find a console eventually. Sometimes, they also sell consoles online for in-store pick up.
Here’s another store with secret stashes of consoles. Sorry, PlayStation fans. They only sell the Xbox Series X in-store. It’s kind of like Target. Walk inside a physical Verizon store and ask if they have the Xbox Series X in stock. I’m not sure about one key detail. They might require Verizon to be your cell phone carrier. I’m honestly not sure. You might want to investigate this one. Regardless, my local Verizon store had a whole bunch of consoles, so it’s a thought.
This retailer might be one of your best options to buy a console without expensive bundles, especially online. I see the Xbox Series X appear on Walmart.com at retail price every now and then. Avoid third party scalpers. When they have consoles in stock, the inventory can last anywhere between a few hours and several days. I just checked and they have the Xbox Series X in stock now. It might be a good idea to check Walmart often.
There you go! You should be able to find these consoles at some point before Christmas. I recommend shopping now because the competition will get worse in December. You’ve got this! Are you planning to purchase one or more of these consoles for anyone this holiday season? Are you still trying to snag one for yourself? Leave a comment. Good luck with your holiday shopping in general and come back again next week. Cheers!
Welcome back, gaming fans! The final quarter of 2022 is totally stuffed with new games and I played several of them. Sadly, I wasn’t impressed with my recent experiences. On the plus side, I’m sure the best is yet to come. We’re not done with this year’s gaming schedule by any means. Why didn’t this batch of games work for me? I’ll explain below.
Let’s begin with Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, an asymmetrical multiplayer game. This blast from the past might sound good on paper because it pits a team of four ghostbusters against a mischievous ghost. Some people might enjoy this adventure with friends, but I thought the gameplay had very little variation and it has way too many technical issues. Nostalgia in media caught up with my generation because we’re old enough to have disposable income and younger family members who can join these franchises. That’s the main reason why we’re seeing titles like Ghostbusters come back to the mainstream. Unfortunately, Spirits Unleashed lacks polish with quite a few glitches and game breaking bugs. For example, I can’t play as a ghost for some reason. It’s a weird glitch and pretty annoying. I wish it was more entertaining to play as a ghostbuster. The gameplay is repetitive, cumbersome, and the unlockable skills make very little difference. It seems like the ghost has a huge advantage over the ghostbusters. The ghosts are faster with better skills, perks, controls, and the ability to fly. It’s almost unfair. After playing a handful of rounds, I didn’t feel the urge to play anymore. There wasn’t enough variety, entertainment value, or fluidity to warrant more attention.
A Plague Tale: Requiem was a day one release on Xbox Game Pass, so I gave it a shot. This dark Medieval fantasy has excellent graphics and a very interesting story. However, the gameplay isn’t my cup of tea. Honestly, I never had a talent for stealth games and A Plague Tale: Requiem relies heavily on this type of mechanic. The puzzles and combat are a major improvement from the previous title, but these elements don’t fix other shortcomings. I noticed several glitches that made the stealth sections and game progression difficult. For example, I lost progress numerous times, despite checkpoints and save files. Large portions of my saved data mysteriously disappeared and I had to repeat chapters multiple times. I also reached a dead end because a cut scene failed to launch. Annoying stealth sections and game breaking bugs ruined the experience for me.
Why is a random game like Good Pizza, Great Pizza on my post? Simulators are really popular, so I ordered a limited physical edition on the Nintendo Switch. I enjoyed this pizza simulator for a while, but the novelty wore off eventually. you can upgrade the pizza parlor with more toppings, longer hours of operation, faster cooking speed, better marketing, etc. Those elements work pretty well, but other components are really weird and probably broken. Characters will ask for specific toppings and becomes upset when you give it to them. You asked for a pepperoni pizza. Don’t get mad because it has pepperonis. I can’t figure out how to make a supreme pizza either. The customers always say I’m putting on too many toppings. Are you kidding me? The best supreme pizzas have a lot of toppings, in my opinion. Maybe you can figure out the game’s mechanics better than me.
If you’re a fan of Godzilla and other kaiju franchises, Dawn of the Monsters might seem appealing. This game is a basic side scrolling adventure with a wide variety of monsters. The story is similar to Pacific Rim and the combat is quite entertaining. It’s just a simple beat’em up adventure with monsters destroying the world. Granted, certain elements were disappointing and I eventually lost interest in the game. I can’t figure out the upgrade system. You can pick random boons and power ups after each battle, but many of them are useless. It’s also hard to figure out what some of the power ups accomplish. The boss fights are disproportionately hard compared to the rets of the gameplay. You’ll probably die 20 times or more before defeating some of the bosses. Checkpoints are sparse, which means you’ll backtrack pretty far after dying. Dawn of the Monsters has really good elements, but specific annoyances and design flaws took me out of the game. The market is really crowded and I can always play other releases.
Critics were apprehensive of Gotham Knights and their bad vibes were justified. I wanted to give this game the benefit of the doubt, but Gotham Knights has a ton of issues, including repetitive combat, an incomprehensible inventory, awful boss fights, imprecise controls, and dull missions. Batman: Arkham Knight had superior animation, yet Gotham Knights was allegedly optimized for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with a $70 price. That’s crazy! I was never a fan of the Arkham series anyway and this spinoff makes the same mistakes with excessive grinding, bugs and glitches, bad vehicle driving, and gameplay that eventually becomes stale. This game also has terrible writing and it becomes progressively worse as the story continues. I doubt many players will finish this game. Many people will probably become frustrated or bored and stop playing after a while. Gotham Knights has a strong beginning, but it crashes and burns along the way.
Yes, Alfred Hitchcock: Vertigo is a real video games, although it has a completely different story than the movie. I’m not sure how to justify this game’s existence. It changes everything that was brilliant from the film. The game has a decent mystery, gaslighting, and similar music to the original movie, but it still feels like a hollow reboot. In a way, it seems like this game uses the title Vertigo for brand recognition only. Like Gotham Knights, this game has a very strong beginning. Over time, the story falls apart and ruins the experience. Believe me, it doesn’t make any sense if you reach the end. Also, the animation is laughably bad and distracting in such a serious game. Most of the voice acting is pretty good, but it sounds like some of the actors forgot their lines occasionally. Despite being a graphic adventure, your choices don’t make a difference. The plot and ending will remain the same, regardless of your actions or dialogue choices. In the end, this version of Vertigo doesn’t honor the works of Alfred Hitchcock.
The Chant is a survival horror game that was released shortly after Halloween. I felt conflicted about this game because it has an interesting concept, unique gameplay mechanics, well crafted characters, and original ideas that stand out in a crowded genre. It’s a Lovecraftian horror game with a decent amount of action. Sadly, many elements didn’t work out. It has a decent start, but the gameplay becomes increasingly frustrating and grating over time. I wouldn’t call this game hard. It’s just obnoxious. The Chant requires a lot of backtracking and enemies respawn frequently. However, useful items don’t respawn, so you’re at a disadvantage. This game also lacks scares. The monsters and environment are cool and psychedelic, but they’re not scary at all. If you’re going to play The Chant, just try it on easy mode. Anything else will make you rage quit.
Should you play any of these games? No, unless there’s a really deep sale. You could play anything for curiosities sake, but don’t expect a particularly good experience. Most of these games are unrefined, frustrating, and buggy.
That’s all for now! I was disappointed with this group of games, but the future looks bright. Pretty soon, we’re getting God of War: Ragnarok, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Evil West, and The Callisto Protocol. I also need to catch up with Bayonetta 3 and New Tales from the Borderlands. What games have you been playing lately? Do you have any games on your holiday wish list? Tell me all about it in the comment section. Let’s end 2022 on a positive note. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming soon, along with several new movies and games. It sounds like a good spread to me. Good luck with your holiday shopping and have an awesome week!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.