It’s been said before — many times before — but it’s hard to overstate: Shop for games in bulk, when prices are at their cheapest. Do your shopping during the festive seasons, and avoid full-priced games like a plague if you want to stretch your dollar furthest.
Today, it’s as good a day as any to open your wallet wide. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Steam, and a few others are getting into the Black Friday spirit, offering some of 2016’s top releases, alongside a slew of smash hits on the cheap.
There’s a lot to comb through — thousands of games are currently on sale. To save you the trouble of Googling and wading through a thick, muddy bog of search results, we thought it’d be best to give you a preview of some of the hottest discounts on digital games available online.
And there’s still plenty more to come over the next few days and weeks. So check back with your favorite gaming platform for updates.
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Xbox Store deals (for Xbox One; note: prices are for Xbox Live Gold members only)
- Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition for $16 (save 60 percent)
- Battlefield 1 Deluxe Edition + Titanfall 2 Deluxe Bundle for $75 (save 50 percent)
- Dragon Age: Inquisition GOTY Edition for $16 (save 60 percent)
- Forza Horizon 3 for $39 (save 35 percent)
- Gears of War 4 for $36 (save 40 percent)
- Grand Theft Auto V for $30 (save 50 percent)
- Hitman The Complete First Season for $30 (save 50 percent)
- Mafia 3 for $42 (save 30 percent)
- Overwatch: Origins Edition for $36 (save 40 percent)
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for $30 (save 45 percent)
- XCOM 2 for $39 (save 35 percent)
While the Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 bundle certainly stands out, the Xbox Store offers legitimately great deals on some of the best-reviewed Xbox One titles of 2016, including The Witcher 3, Gears of War 4, and Forza Horizon 3.
Sale ends November 28.
- Fire Emblem Awakening for $20 (from $40)
- Hyrule Warriors Legends for $28 (from $40)
- Monster Hunter Generations for $24 (from $40)
- The Legend of Zelda for $3 (from $5)
- Kirby Mass Attack for $5 (from $10)
- Star Fox: Zero for $35 (from $50)
- Super Mario Galaxy 2 for $10 (from $20)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for $35 (from $50)
Nintendo has several console-defining originals that can be had on the cheap. If you haven’t bought them yet, for whatever excuse, now is the best time to do so, if you’re still interested in trying them out. Waiting for the next-gen Switch console to drop in March next year seems like a better use of one’s time and resources.
Sale ends December 5.
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- Batman: Arkham Knight for $10 (from $20)
- Far Cry Primal for $15 (from $60)
- Hitman The Complete First Season for $30 (from $60)
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition for $8 (from $20)
- MLB The Show 16 for $15 (from $20)
- Overwatch: Origins Edition for $35 (from $60)
- Star Wars Battlefront for $7.50 (from $30)
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for $25 (from $50)
Far Cry Primal for $15 is practically a steal. We also wouldn’t mind paying $10 for Arkham Knight, or $8 for Shadow of Mordor, if we hadn’t already gotten them under our collective belt.
Sale ends on November 29.
- Batman franchise (up to 75 percent off)
- Civilization franchise (up to 92 percent off)
- Far Cry franchise (up to 75 percent off)
- Grand Theft Auto franchise (up to 70 percent off)
- Just Cause franchise (up to 82 percent off)
- The Elder Scrolls franchise (up to 73 percent off)
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for $40 (33 percent off)
- Dark Souls 3 for $39 (35 percent off)
- I Am Setsuna for $27 (33 percent off)
- Quantum Break for $30 (25 percent off)
- Tom Clancy’s The Division for $13.50 (50 percent off)
Steam is the most popular gaming client for PCs, and it offers a huge selection of discounted video games — far too many to list here. If you don’t see anything you like, don’t worry; Steam will hold another sale next month. Maybe by then you’ll find something special, worthy of hours of your time.
Sale ends November 30.
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- Banished for $5 (75 percent off)
- Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition for $20 (50 percent off)
- Grim Dawn for $15 (45 percent off)
- Inside for $15 (25 percent off)
- Kerbal Space Program for $24 (40 percent off)
- Limbo for $2 (80 percent off)
- No Man’s Sky for $36 (40 percent off)
- Shadow Warrior 2 for $30 (25 percent off)
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise (up to 75 percent off)
In addition to the sweet deals above, GOG is giving away free digital downloads of Limbo to those who connect their Steam account to their GOG account.
Sale ends November 27.
- Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 Deluxe Bundle for $75 (save 50 percent)
- FIFA 17 for $36 (save 40 percent)
- Mass Effect Trilogy for $15 (save 50 percent)
- Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for $16 (save 60 percent)
- Need for Speed for $15 (save 63 percent)
- Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2: Standard Edition for $10 (save 75 percent)
- Star Wars Battlefront for $15 (save 50 percent)
- SimCity for $5 (save 75 percent)
- The Sims 4 for $10 (save 75 percent)
If you’ve missed out on some great EA titles for PC, Origin serves you plenty of opportunity to get caught up.
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- Civilization 6 for $54 (save 10 percent)
- Dragon Age: Inquisition for $11 (save 45 percent)
- Dishonored 2 for $48 (save 20 percent)
- Eve Online Core Starter Pack for $5 (save 75 percent)
- Fallout 4 for $19 (save 67 percent)
- Grand Theft Auto V for $30 (save 50 percent)
- Kerbal Space Program for $24 (save 40 percent)
- Mafia 3 for $42 (save 30 percent)
- Street Fighter V for $29 (save 50 percent)
As a bonus for shopping during Black Friday week, Green Man Gaming will take an extra 10 percent off of every purchase of participating games. Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY10 at checkout. Every sale also gets you a free random game from the Green Man Gaming catalog, so it’s a win-win.
- Battleborn for $20 (67 percent off)
- NBA 2K17 for $42 (30 percent off)
- XCOM 2 for $30 (50 percent off)
XCOM 2 is one of the best tactics games ever made, and it’s now up for grabs on the Humble Store for half of its original price. For those who fancy a fix of basketball, NBA 2K17 is at its lowest ever price, coming right in time as the NBA season starts to get interesting.
Vivo outs dual-display phone, China bans iPhones: Weekend Rewind
Brands that are hot and brands that are in hot water
Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.
1. Vivo’s new NEX phone comes with two displays
The NEX Dual Display Edition joins the Nubia X in spearheading two-face smartphones in the market. The main display measures 6.39 inches and it virtually occupies the whole front of the phone. On the back is the secondary 5.49-inch display which is always ready for use. Both displays use Super AMOLED panels and have Full HD resolutions.
Since the phone has an all-screen facade, it doesn’t have a front-facing camera. All of the picture-taking duties are handled by the rear shooters of the NEX. There’s a main 12-megapixel f/1.79 camera that’s accompanied by a special 2-megapixel f/1.8 night video camera and a Time of Flight (TOF) sensor.
2. MediaTek’s new CPU brings next-level AI
MediaTek went ahead and introduced its new chipset, the Helio P90, even though the Helio P70 just came out a few months ago. On top of better AI processing, it offers improvements across the board, from boosts in camera features and wireless connectivity to better overall performance.
It should also improve imaging capabilities. The Helio P90 can handle up to a supersized 48-megapixel unit or dual cameras split into 24 and 16 megapixels. 4K video recording at 30 frames per second is possible, as well as 1080p at 120 frames per second.
There’s still no word on which phones we can expect to feature this chip but we’re pretty sure the wait won’t be that long.
3. Samsung collabs with a Supreme rip-off
Earlier this week, Samsung China announced a startling partnership with lifestyle brand Supreme. In lifestyle circles, the red-boxed brand is a haven for hypebeasts.
Sounds good so far, right? The thing is, Samsung’s new collaboration is not with that brand. Instead, the Korean tech company has partnered with a known Supreme knock-off. Strangely, both the original Supreme and Samsung know this fact.
They have since re-evaluated this partnership and disclosed no definite reasons except that they “deeply regret the inconvenience caused.”
4. A loaded OnePlus 6T is now official
It seems like coming with a beefed-up version of a flagship is a thing now. After Huawei and OPPO partnered with Porsche and Lamborghini, respectively, OnePlus introduced its McLaren Edition of the OnePlus 6T.
Not only does it have a carbon fiber pattern and the popular automaker’s logo on the back, but it also has practical features like Warp Charge that outputs 30W and charges the phone from zero to 50 percent in just 20 minutes. That’s McLaren fast!
5. China bans Apple from selling iPhones
Recently, Qualcomm engaged in a legal battle against Apple in China. According to the company, Apple violated some critical software patents.
Long story short, China has issued a guilty verdict against Apple and has banned the American company from selling and distributing most of its iPhones in the country.
The ban didn’t include the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. However, iPhone models with older software versions are all under the ban.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best Smartphones of 2018
Handpicked by the GadgetMatch team
Like it or not, there’s no best smartphone this year — or any year for that matter. Rather, there are great smartphones for different users and different needs.
In this set of GadgetMatch Awards, we look at the best of the best by category, from the most practical to the somewhat shallow. We’re sure you have your own winners, so let us know in the comments what you think.
Here we go:
Best Battery Life — Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Rarely do we think: When will this phone finally die? In fact, we often ask for more juice out of our smartphones, something that the Mate 20 Pro effortlessly delivers for us. On top of its class-leading performance and stellar looks, this smartphone can easily last for two days on a single charge — wow!
Best Selfies — Vivo NEX S
This pop-up camera is no gimmick; it takes awesome selfies, as well! From the moment it appears to the time it snaps our HDR-licious selfies, taking self portraits with the NEX S is both a spectacle and a pleasure.
Best Special Edition — Porsche Edition Huawei Mate 20 RS
How do you make an already-premium phone even more special? By slapping on some leather and the logo of a luxury automaker! Yes, the Porsche Edition Huawei Mate 20 RS is by far the hottest-looking smartphone of the year.
Best Design — OPPO Find X
There were tons of jaw-dropping smartphone designs in 2018, but none have wowed us as much as the OPPO Find X’s. The automatic sliding action continues to impress us to this day, and we can’t get enough of the borderless look in front.
Best Charging Technology — SuperVOOC
In terms of new technology, 2018 became the year of faster charging. That said, OPPO’s SuperVOOC tech stands above all with its insane speed. We can’t wait to see it in more smartphones come 2019!
Best Portrait Shooter — Apple iPhone XR
Portrait photography has become a standard feature across all smartphones, but the iPhone XR does it best with a single rear camera. We love how it cuts out the subject and applies the perfect amount of bokeh to our photos.
Best Beauty Mode — OPPO R17 Pro
OPPO has done it once again with a beauty mode we’re proud to use. The advanced post-shot customization and application of artificial intelligence have been taken to another level, and we love ’em!
Best Special Feature — Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
Slide up, slide down — rinse and repeat. No smartphone feature got us more pumped than the Mi Mix 3’s manual sliding form factor, which combines the best of nostalgia and practical application.
Best Display — ASUS ROG Phone
A 6-inch notch-less AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate? We’re sold! The ROG Phone may be a gaming smartphone at its core, but it’s also a perfect multimedia companion thanks to its gorgeous screen.
Best Speakers — Razer Phone 2
Great speakers are such an underrated feature on smartphones these days. Fortunately, we have the Razer Phone 2 to remind us how it should be done. Two powerful speakers facing the user form the best combination we’ve seen all year.
Best Video Shooter — LG V40 ThinQ
LG has yet again brought professional-grade videography to the masses with the V40 ThinQ. While other manufacturers focus purely on photography, this little powerhouse offers a slew of video-recording features that we absolutely adore.
Best Productivity — BlackBerry KEY2
Let’s face it: As much as we’ve gotten used to touchscreen displays, nothing beats the no-look convenience a physical keyboard offers. BlackBerry executed this to perfection with the KEY2, and we’re so glad they did.
MediaTek Helio P90 arrives with next-level AI and processing performance
Coming soon to midrange phones everywhere
As previously reported, MediaTek’s latest midrange system on a chip (SoC) is here, and it brings next-generation AI performance to the segment.
Even though the Helio P70 came out only a couple of months ago, MediaTek felt that the P90 is needed to push midrange phones to the next level. On top of better AI processing, it offers improvements across the board, from boosts in camera features and wireless connectivity to better overall performance.
Let’s begin with the most important part: artificial intelligence. It’s what makes the P90 stand out, considering that it’s made for midrange smartphones. It owns an AI engine that houses a dual-core APU (application processing unit) with an AIA (artificial intelligence accelerator), which essentially place it ahead in its class.
These translate to numerous applications in real life, such deep-learning facial detection for quicker logins, real-time beautification and scene recognition for the cameras, and faster processing for augmented and mixed reality apps. Even better: Google Lens is already supported by this SoC.
Speaking of cameras, that’s another highlight here. The Helio P90 can handle up to a supersized 48-megapixel unit or dual cameras split into 24 and 16 megapixels. 4K video recording at 30 frames per second is possible, as well as 1080p at 120 frames per second.
On the connectivity side, it has support for the Cat-12/13 4G LTE bands, and more importantly, 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 — bringing it on par with more premium chipsets.
Everything is powered by a 12nm octa-core system consisting of two Cortex-A75 processors at 2.2GHz and six Cortex-A55 processors at 2GHz. A PowerVR GM9446 GPU running at 970MHz handles all graphics duties. In addition, CorePilot tech makes sure that everything operates efficiently.
We’re still waiting for word from partner brands on which phones we can expect to pack this new SoC. With CES and MWC coming up in the next few months, we’re sure to hear more about the Helio P90 soon.
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