Black Friday beckons, Cyber Monday draws near, and Tech Treats Tuesday is a thing I made up but will probably soon exist. What you need to know is, things will be on sale, the good things. The things that buzz, distract, thrill, and make your living room the wonderful haven that it is through the upcoming winter.
Sony GOT YOU FAM. With the Sony PlayStation 4 still running very strong—especially now with its growing library on PlayStation VR, the cheapest, simplest entry into VR gaming currently on the market—there are a whole cadre of excellent deals you should be sniffing out as the weekend draws near, with others to keep note of through and past the holiday season.
That jump to VR remains central, although some exciting recent releases prove that there’s yet more to Sony’s lineup, and much more to come.
Make sure to check out Sony’s Black Friday specials which end on November 27th, and let’s get into some current and upcoming releases below.
(Don’t forget about the special Star Wars Battlefront II bundle options!)
Some of us need to refresh our trusty PS4s, and the PS4 Pro comes equipped with more power under the hood and improved internal hardware. For living rooms set up for 4K resolution screens it’s an easy upgrade decision, and “Pro patches” to pre-existing games continue to roll out. Additionally, this year saw a “Boost mode” implemented in the most recent firmware that should provide a system-wide range of benefits for most titles. At $100 more than the standard PS4, the Pro is an affordable upgrade bump, and will hopefully be included in plenty of upcoming sales promotions at retailers.
Black Friday Sale: $199.99
The old standby PS4 system is still a reliable way to play games, with ever-constant development of new titles and an estimated 20 million units sold in the US as of this month. And remember: even the standard PS4 unit will happily play along with a new PS VR setup.
Speaking of: The PS VR provides a few different options to get started gaming in virtual reality. At bare minimum, you’re going to want the PS VR headset and the Sony PlayStation Camera. These items will pack in Sony stereo headphones with in-line remote, all the cables you’ll need (including HDMI), and a demo disc. The latter is no slouch, and features a cadre of different experiences and worthy samples of the games you’re going to want to pick up later on. The camera comes with all the hookups you’ll need as well.
Note: Some have alerted that the original Core Bundle has been discontinued, but you may be able to find remaining boxes at specific stores and online.
With the base unit and camera, you’re ready to go, but you may also want two Motion Plus controllers. These will be required for certain titles—again, the demo disc comes in handy here, because you’ll know this right away for any included games—but this info is also readily available in the relevant PlayStation Store listing for a game. Bear in mind: there are quite a few PS VR games that do not require Motion Plus, so don’t fret if it’s not yet in the budget; it’s an easy upgrade later on down the line.
(Includes: PS VR headset, PlayStation Camera, PlayStation VR Worlds Disc)
Currently, you can also pick up The PlayStation VR Worlds Bundle, which upgrades the core bundle with 2 Motion Plus controllers as well as the game PlayStation VR Worlds, “Five different VR experiences that have all been built from the ground up exclusively for the PS VR headset.” Other store-dependent bundles and deals may see fit to include other full games to seduce buyers, so make sure to check listings accordingly.
Note: Some have alerted that the PlayStation VR Worlds Bundle has been discontinued, but you may be able to find remaining boxes at specific stores and online.
Specially priced PS VR Bundles To Look Out For:
Gran Turismo Sport Bundle (Note: no Motion Controllers included)
MSRP: $399.99 / Current Amazon price: $299.00
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR Bundle (Note: Motion Controllers are included)
MSRP: $449.99 / Current Amazon price: $349.00
MSRP: $99.99 / Current Amazon price: $64.99
If you’ve ever demo’d a PS VR game at a trade show or convention, you’re familiar with this comfortable and sleek headset. Featuring excellent isolation, a noise cancelling (and hidden) microphone, and 7.1 virtual surround sound, it pairs excellently with your PlayStation system, VR or no VR. Being able to use your VR rig without having to add other wires to the mix makes this a strong recommendation if it’s in the budget.
Note that a PlayStation is not needed for these headphones. In addition to pairing well with your PS Vita or PS3 (which even feature specific game modes specifically designed for these headphones), the included USB dongle can connect to your PC. And, if you for some reason need it to be wired, an included 3.5mm cable can plug directly in to an audio source.
Available for pre-order on Amazon, estimated release date 12/4/2017
For any young ones in the house who might experience some difficulty with a standard size PS4 Dualshock® controller, Sony has now made a specific type of controller for them. 40% smaller than the Dualshock® but complete with all the essential controller inputs and a 10’ cable, the Mini Wired Gamepad comes at a great low price standard.
Note that the Mini Wired Gamepad does not include the light bar, headset jack, speaker, motion sensor, or dual motors usually found in a Dualshock®.
This has been a landmark year for PlayStation games, including crowd-favorites like the PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn (which boasts a recently released, well-received expansion), Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and Resident Evil 7.
Additionally, upcoming VR games are looking to be the best of the bunch, with the just-released The Elder Srolls V: Skyrim VR a great start to holiday releases.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (PS VR)
MSRP: $59.99 / PS VR required
Hinted at, teased, and lightly demo’d for a while now, Skyrim has finally combined forces with the PS VR into, arguably, the most expansive, full-length open-world VR game ever produced. Although it’s already been a few years since its initial release on consoles and PC, the promises fulfilled with VR turns the snowy Nordic fantasy experience into an entirely new beast. For people who don’t have PS VR just yet, the Skyrim bundle linked further above is sure to spark interest. Don’t sleep on this.
The Inpatient (PS VR)
MSRP: $39.99 / PS VR required
Available for pre-order on Amazon, estimated release date 1/23/2018
For those of us who played and enjoyed Until Dawn—a PS4 exclusive and one of the best horror adventure games on the console—we now have The Inpatient, a prequel set 60 years before the original and designed for PS VR. Interestingly, there appears to be a kind of wider universe around Until Dawn being established, as Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, a VR shooting-gallery horror game, came out last year as well.
Personally, I found Until Dawn a brilliant experience, and am looking forward to further developments with titles like these.
Bonus factoid: BGN-favorite Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek stars in the original game in quite a different type of role.
Moss (PS VR)
MSRP: $29.99 / PS VR required
Estimated release date: Sometime in February 2018
This charming action-adventure game stars a young mouse named Quill on a fantastical journey. Interestingly, the game seems to feature direct and indirect character control, with the player in VR controlling Quill, but also guiding her, healing her, and changing the landscape when needed to progress. Look out for more information on Moss in the coming months.
Bravo Team (PS VR)
MSRP: $39.99 / PS VR required
Available for pre-order on Amazon, estimated release date 3/6/2018
Designed as a 2-player co-op experience in PS VR (although containing a fully playable single-player campaign as well), Bravo Team is set to be a kind of action film-inspired FPS. Involving tactical decisions and active cover mechanics and leaning—as in, having to actually move your body while behind cover—the game might turn your living room into a war zone…in a good way.
MSRP: $59.99 / Currently available for $47.99 with a PS Plus account
Fighter-enthusiasts pretty much need to grab their copy of the newest installment of MvC, and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to escape an awkward conversation and just beat up some supervillains (and heroes). Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite has already garnered some positive reviews since its September release, but it’s never too late to hit the training room.
Pre-order available on Amazon, estimated release date 12/5/2017
One of the best games of the year and a crown jewel in Sony’s stable of exclusives, Horizon: Zero Dawn had rumored DLC very shortly after release, much to the surprise of its fans. Developer Guerilla Games delivered on that promise, releasing DLC The Frozen Wilds on November 7th, adding more content to inspire a return to the snowy ravaged open world.
Note that PS Plus subscribers can also get started with the game and DLC in a digital format right now for $34.98 (a discounted $14.99 for the DLC with PS Plus, and the digital version of the base game is currently 50% off at $19.99), but the Complete Edition is arriving next month for anyone who misses the sales, or wants a hard copy. Either way, this is a game that cannot be recommended enough, and will be coming up frequently once various Game of the Year awards are upon us.
BONUS TIP: Horizon Zero Dawn Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes a PS4 theme, bonus packs, weapons, and other exclusives, is on a very limited temporary sale on the PlayStation store, discounted to $24.99. Bear in mind, this version does not include the new DLC, but it’s the premium digital version of the originally released game. This sale ends on 11/28/2017.
Famous, infamous, notorious, and stunning to watch and listen to, Star Wars Battlefront II has certainly been making headlines. For Star Wars fanatics the game is an easy sell, with unparalleled graphics and sound design that has become a hallmark of the series. BGN’s E.Angel recently covered the timed beta, and we’re hoping to see some solid discounts and sales for this weekend.
Aside from that, Sony is trumpeting a Black Friday sale on Dualshock4 Controllers at $39.99, which should round out your stocking stuffers.
Get out there and plan for the winter everyone!
Above retail prices, especially for unreleased titles, are subject to change.
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Leonardo Faierman is the senior film editor at Black Girl Nerds. Born in Buenos Aires, raised in Queens, Bar Mitzvah'd at Young Israel, buried under student loans. He writes video game, music, film, and movie reviews, as well as poetry, comic books, bad dreams and good copy. He's 1/5th of the comics podcast #BlackComicsChat and 1/2 of horror film podcast The Scream Squad.