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The Best Place to Pre-Order Your PS4 and Xbox One

"I want my PS4 and Xbox One, and I want it NOW!" Who cares about paying full-price when you’re passionate about gaming right? After all, it’s for the love of the game, so pre-ordering it shall be!

It's been a little over a month since Microsoft and Sony announced the upcoming release of their game console at the E3 game conference, and pre-orders for the Xbox One and PS4 are currently being taken by some well-known merchants. Playstation 4 PreorderWhile pre-ordering a game console may not be the best time to get the best deal, you should be savvy about which retailer you choose to pre-order from to get the most out of your money. Some retailers offer extra freebies or limited edition items to get you to shell out your cash early in the game.  Others have special programs where you can earn points or cash back when you purchase your game console. Being aware of these offerings can help you take advantage of the situation. So what are some of the deals currently out there?

1. Amazon

Amazon has a “Pre-order Price Guarantee” policy.  If you pre-order the Xbox One or PS4, Amazon guarantees that you'll only pay for the lowest price if the cost of the game console you buy decreases anytime between the time of purchase until the date of release.  If you want to earn money back on your purchase, you might consider registering for the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card. With this card, you’ll get a $30 Amazon.com gift card for free upon approval, and you can earn 3 points for every $1 spent at Amazon. There is no expiration date on the points you earn and no annual fee.

PlayStation 4
At Amazon, you have 6 pre-order options to choose from for the PS4, four of which are bundles. The basic PS4 package includes the PS4 system, DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller, HDMI cable, power cable, wired mono headset, and USB charging cable.  The PS4 Standard Edition is exactly like the Launch Edition. It has all the basic package offerings. The difference in these two is that if you pre-order the Launch Edition, Amazon guarantees it will be available on the release date. With the Standard Edition, there is no guarantee the PS4 will be in stock (which could mean you’ll get it after the release date).

PlayStation 4 Package Price Shipping Sales Tax Extra Items
Launch Day Edition Currently Unavailable FREE  No* None
Standard Edition $399.96
($.03 off MSRP.)
FREE No None
Battlefield 4 and PS Plus Launch Bundle $499.90
($10.07 off MSRP.)
FREE No Battlefield 4 game + $10 off 1 year PS Plus subscription
Killzone and PS Plus Launch Bundle $499.90
($10.07 off MSRP.)
FREE No Killzone game + $10 off 1 year PS Plus subscription
Watch Dogs Launch Bundle $459.98 FREE No Watch Dogs game
Knack Launch Day Bundle $459.98 FREE No Knack game

A one year PS Plus subscription is regularly priced at $49.99. With this subscription, you'll get access to free games, full-game trials, demos, and special offers.

Xbox One Day One Edition
[Price $499.96 ($.03 off MSRP.) + Free Shipping + No Sales Tax*]
When you pre-order the Xbox One Day One Edition at Amazon, in addition to the basic Xbox One console package (one controller and console), you’ll also get a commemorative controller, a special token you can use to "unlock an exclusive Day One achievement," and premium packaging for free.

2. Best Buy

At Best Buy, you can get 5% back in rewards points (2.5 points for every $1 spent)  and a $5 reward certificate for every 250 points.  To qualify for this offer, choose Standard Credit and use your Reward Zone credit card in stores or online when you purchase a game console. Reward Zone membership is free and there is no annual fee for the Reward Zone credit card.

Xbox One Preorder

PlayStation 4
[Price: $399.99 + Free Shipping + Sales Tax**]
Standard PS4 package.

PlayStation 4 Bundle with Killzone & 12-Month Subscription
[Price: $499.97 + Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
This bundle has the basic PS4 package, the Killzone game, and a free 12 month PS Plus subscription.

Xbox One Day One Edition
[Price: $499.99 + Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
Similar to Amazon, this One Day One Edition includes a free commemorative controller and an exclusive achievement token.

3. GameStop

GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards not only rewards you for used purchases, but it also gives you points for new purchases made on games, consoles, and strategy guides. When you pre-order your PS4 or Xbox One, you’ll get 10 points for every dollar you spend. PowerUp Rewards membership is free. If you sign up for the PowerUp Rewards PRO™ for $14.99, you’ll also qualify to get a 10% point bonus on all orders.  These points can be used to obtain GameStop’s ever-revolving rewards such as, GameStop gift cards, merchandise, iTunes gift cards, restaurant and movie rewards, Playstation® Network, XBox LIVE® subscriptions, gaming platform game cards, and special codes that unlock exclusive in-game accessories.

Shipping at GameStop varies depending on the handling method chosen. The cheapest rate for the lower 48 states is “value” shipping.  This method is priced at $3.49 for orders up to $75 with an additional $1.50 tagged on for each $50.00 thereafter. Processing takes about 1 business day and items are delivered between 5-10 business days.

PlayStation 4
Gamestop offers 1 basic package and 11 game bundles to choose from for the PS4.  Each bundle has the standard PS4 console and DualShock®4 wireless controller, along with 1-3 games. Some bundles offer an extra controller, the DualShock®4 Complete Control, which has updated dual analog sticks and trigger buttons for improved game control.

PlayStation 4 Packages Price Sales Tax Extra Items
PlayStation 4 System $399.99 Yes** None
PlayStation 4 Call of Duty: Ghosts Bundle $459.98 Yes Call of Duty: Ghosts game
PlayStation 4 Battlefield 4 LE Bundle $459.98 Yes Battlefield 4 game
PlayStation 4 Knack Bundle $519.97 Yes Knack game + DualShock®4 Complete Control controller
PlayStation 4 Madden NFL 25 Bundle $459.98 Yes Madden NFL 25 game
PlayStation 4 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Bundle $459.98 Yes Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag game
PlayStation 4 Drive Club Bundle $519.97 Yes Drive Club game
PlayStation 4 Watch Dogs Bundle $459.98 Yes Watch Dogs game
PlayStation 4 Killzone: Shadow Fall Bundle $519.97 Yes Killzone: Shadow Fall game + DualShock®4 Complete Control controller
PlayStation 4 NBA Live 14 Bundle $459.98 Yes NBA Live 14 game
PlayStation 4 EA Sports Bundle $579.96 Yes 3 games:NBA Live 14,Madden NFL 25,+ FIFA 14
PlayStation 4 Need for Speed Rivals Bundle $459.98 Yes Need for Speed Rivals game

 

GameStop has 13 Xbox One packages available for pre-order, one of which is the Xbox One Day One Edition. There are 12 bundles that combine the Xbox One Day One offerings with an extra 1-3 games.

Xbox One Packages Price Sales Tax Extra Items
Xbox One Day One Edition $499.99 Yes** commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Madden NFL 25 Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Madden NFL 25 game, commemorative controller,+ achievement token
Xbox One Call of Duty: Ghosts Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Call of Duty: Ghosts game, commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Battlefield 4 Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Battlefield 4 game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Dead Rising 3 Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Dead Rising 3 game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Ryse Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Ryse game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Forza 5 Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Forza 5 game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Watch Dogs Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Watch Dogs game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Creed IV: Black Flag game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Kinect Sports Rivals Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Kinect Sports Rivals game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Fifa 14 Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Fifa 14 game + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One EA Sports Bundle Day One Edition $679.96 Yes 3 games:FIFA 14,Madden NFL 25,+NBA Live 14 + commemorative controller + achievement token
Xbox One Need for Speed Rivals Bundle Day One Edition $559.98 Yes Need for Speed Rivals game + commemorative controller + achievement token

 

4. Walmart

You’ve probably noticed employees at Walmart asking customers if they would like to register for a credit card upon checkout.  If you plan on pre-ordering a game console at Walmart, you might want to consider this option. When you open up a Walmart Credit Card or Walmart Discover Card, you’ll get $20 back on your first purchase of $100 or more. With the Walmart Discover Card, you can also earn up to 1% cash back on all your purchases. There is no annual fee for both cards.

PlayStation 4
[Price: $399.96  ($.03 off MSRP.) + Free Shipping + Sales Tax**]

PS4 Console Solution Bundle w/ Dualshock 4 Controller and Game
[Price: $576.96+ Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
This package includes 4 items: Playstation 4 console, extra controller, PlayStation camera, and your choice of game.

PS4 Console Starter Bundle w/ Choice of Game or Accessory
[Price: $459.00+ Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
The PS4 Console Starter Bundle at Walmart has the PS4 console and your choice of one game or accessory: extra Dualshock 4 controller, PlayStation camera, or PS4 game.

Xbox One Day One Edition
[Price: $499.96 ($.03 off MSRP.) + Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
The One Day One Edition includes a free commemorative controller and an exclusive achievement token.

Xbox One Day One Edition Starter Bundle w/ Choice of Game or Accessory
[Price: $599.00+ Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
With this package, you’ll get the Xbox One Console Day One Edition and your choice of one of the following: Xbox One Controller, 12 Month Xbox Live Gold Card - Day One Edition, or Xbox One Game.

Xbox One Day One Edition Solution Bundle w/ Controller and Game
[Price: $676.96+ Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
This Xbox One package from Walmart includes: Xbox One Console Day 1 Edition, an extra Xbox One Controller, a 12 month Xbox Live Gold Card - Day 1 Edition, and your choice of any Day One Edition game.

5. Target

Target has a savings program through their credit card offerings, known as the REDcard. With a Target Debit Card or Target Credit Card, you’ll get 5% back on all purchases made at Target and free shipping. There is no annual fee.

PlayStation 4
[Price: $399.99 + Free Shipping + Sales Tax**]

Xbox One Day One Edition
[Price: $499.99 + Free Shipping + Sales Tax]
The One Day One Edition has a free commemorative controller and an exclusive achievement token.

6. Sony Store

Sony has a free loyalty program known as Sony Rewards where you can earn at least 1 point for every $1 spent. If you want to get even more money back, register for the Sony Card, to receive a $100 credit on your statement after your first purchase. In addition to this, 5x the points is awarded for any Sony Store online or in person purchase. 3x the points can be earned for movies and restaurants and 1x the points can be earned for all other purchases you make.These points can be redeemed for any Sony product, VIP experiences, PS games, movies, music, and more. There is no annual fee.

Basic PlayStation 4 Package

[Price: $399.99 + Free Shipping + Sales Tax**]
Currently, Sony Store offers free 2-day shipping on orders of $50 or more.

PS4 Bundles

Sony allows you to create your own bundles by letting you pick two add-ons with your PS4. All add-ons are priced at $59.99 each. The add-on options are: DUALSHOCK 4 controller, PlayStation camera, and four games (DRIVECLUB, Knack, inFAMOUS: Second Son, or Killzone: Shadow Fall).

Things to Consider Before You Take the Plunge

Shipment Date. Before you pre-order any game console, be sure to check for the date your item will be released or shipped to you.  If an item is in high demand, pre-ordering does not necessarily mean you’ll get what you purchased the day it comes out.  Check to see if the merchant you are buying from guarantees you’ll get the console on the first day.  Some pre-orders don’t offer a guarantee.  Supplies are limited, so it’s a first-come, first-served basis.  If merchants only have 100 game consoles and you’re number 105 on the list, expect to wait for the next batch to come in before you can get your hands on it.

Shipping Time. Shipping time is another important aspect to consider.  If you pre-order the console at a store, you can go pick it up the day it arrives. However, if you pre-order online, your console will be shipped out to you on the release date. The shipment time varies depending on the shipping method you choose at checkout. Items can arrive the next day or from a few days to a week or more. Free standard shipping can take from 4-14 days to arrive. Some merchants also only ship during business days, whereas others give you an option to upgrade to weekends. Be sure to check for processing times as well, since time needs to allocated to prepare and package items that are sent out.  Look over the merchant’s shipping page for estimated arrival times. If you’re still uncertain about which shipping methods to choose, simply ask yourself, “Is it worth the extra cost to pay more for shipping?”

Bundle Packages. You’re not necessarily getting a good deal when you buy items sold in bundles. Extra gimmicks may be good a way to your heart, but it won’t be so kind to your checkbook. Always check the price and do the math. How much would each of these items cost if you were to buy them separately?

Stay Current. As with all items you buy, prices and packaging information for the Xbox One and PS4 can change at any time.  Check your retailer’s page to see the latest information. Keep in mind that as the release date for the Xbox One and PS4 gets closer, you’ll start seeing more retailers offer the consoles for pre-order or announce other special perks. Don't forget to compare offers from other merchants that sell electronics, such as Fry's Electronics, TigerDirect, Newegg, Kmart, and many more.  You never know where a surprise bargain might pop up.

If you have decided that pre-ordering is not for you and would prefer to get a game console when it is discounted, read our post, PS4 vs. Xbox One: Which is the Better Deal? instead.

So which merchant are you going to pre-order your Xbox One or PS4 from? And why? We would love to hear your thoughts!

* Taxes appIy to Amazon purchases made in KS, KY, NY, ND, TX, WA, CA, PA, and NJ only.
* *Sales tax (%) varies among states.

 

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About the Author: Huong Luu

Huong has a passion for books, kids, and volunteer work. When Huong is not hunting for deals, she can be seen riding around on her bike scoping out the latest ice cream shops with her cousin.

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