It’s that time of year again, folks. With the holidays just around the corner, companies all across the gaming industry are preparing new ways to interest players in purchases. We’ve reached a point in 2015 at which gaming is always going to be expensive, unless you happen to prefer mobile apps and online arcades to console titles and PC downloads. New games are pricey, consoles are rather lucrative, and no bundle or special package is going to completely change things. But these companies are experienced with this, and there are a number of enticing reasons to consider some new gaming purchases this holiday season.
The first is that the lineup of upcoming games may be even more impressive than usual for this time of year. Usually around early November there are a few big titles to look forward to, and those titles dominate pre-Christmas sales. But in 2015, there are so many exciting games coming out it’s almost hard to keep track. Metacritic has the full lineup for both PS4 and Xbox One, but just to name a few, here are some highlights: Call Of Duty: Black Ops III; Fallout 4; Star Wars Battlefront; and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. Those are all pretty major titles, not to mention they’re coming on the heels of a number of significant releases including NBA 2k16, Halo 5, and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, all of which will further incentivize the purchase of consoles.
In fact, when it comes to the Xbox One sales for the upcoming holiday season, Microsoft appears to be relying almost entirely on it exclusive titles—including Rise Of The Tomb Raider and Halo 5—to keep it afloat. There have been a lot of stories lately about PS4’s increasing dominance of console sales, and a recent analysis in Forbes indicated that in some respects, Microsoft is conceding defeat. However, the same analysis quoted a sales pitch that basically asserted the Xbox One is the better console for a blend of major and exclusive gaming titles, as well as for the live gamer network Xbox Live. The piece also mentioned upcoming holiday bundles starting at $349, though details on those bundles remain largely mysterious.
The folks at Sony, meanwhile, have taken the more conventional route of simply announcing holiday console and game bundles, rather than releasing PR statements explaining their advantage. The Playstation Blog lists the bundles as various packages featuring limited editions of Black Ops III and Battlefront, as well as a few others—some for the same $349 price Microsoft quoted, and others for a little bit more.
This is all pretty typical competition between the two biggest names in console gaming, though it’s also representative of the time of year. And there are certainly holiday sales and promotions going on elsewhere in the gaming industry. The online casino business in particular is always quick to come up with creative promotions throughout the entire year, especially during the holidays. Already, Gala Bingo’s online platform features a few fun gift bonuses for players, such as a “Bingo Showtime” promotion that lets players win a random gift each time they spend one euro throughout November. This gift-giving concept is likely a prelude of similar promotions to come during the holiday season.
Additionally, we can almost certainly expect some app gaming bundles, as that’s fairly traditional of the holiday season. A little over a year ago, just before Christmas in 2014, Square Enix announced a massive list of gaming titles that were marked down for holiday purchases, and 9to5Mac revealed even more sales that were going on in the iOS store. Discounts like these are not yet listed for December 2015, but you can rest assured there will be an opportunity to grab some popular mobile titles at appealing prices.
That ought to give you a few ideas of what to look for in the month or so ahead. It’s always a fun time of year for gamers, and with competition continuing to increase between companies and developers, the discounts will only get more interesting.