Want to skip the holiday shopping lines and avoid worrying about last-minute gift shipping? Digital game downloads might be your best bet, and right now, pretty much every major retailer in the space is offering crazy markdowns.
Up first, as usual, is PC download shop Steam, where the Winter Sale kicked off on Thursday with pretty much every markdown seen in the shop’s Autumn Sale from just a month ago. There are also a few new offerings. The first one I noticed is a crazy discount on the PC version of Street Fighter V . You can get the game’s base package, which launched earlier this year, for less than $20, while $47 gets you the “deluxe” edition , including the full normal game and all ten DLC characters (four of which are set to unlock in 2017). Considering the just-released “season two” DLC pass still costs $30, that’s about as good a Street Fighter bargain as you should expect for a while.
Steam is exploding with fighting games these days. While Mortal Kombat X isn’t necessarily the best of ’em, its recently patched PC version is finally up to snuff. You can grab its full, DLC-loaded “XL” version for $13.59 in this sale, as well.
If you’re looking to fill out your software library for the HTC Vive, we’re hoping you can do so a little more cheaply in Steam’s dedicated VR section . As of press time, sale prices hadn’t propagated fully through the store’s VR selection, though. Since those games tend to cost more, we hope that changes by day’s end.
Xbox Live and PlayStation Network each have digital download sales within their own portals, as well, with each offering limited-time discounts for daily and weekly specials. Right now, Xbox One owners can grab Xbox Play Anywhere games Forza Horizon 3 , Gears of War 4 , and Recore for big discounts. These versions work on Windows 10 PCs, as well, so that would be a reason to forgo a disc copy. FH3 and GoW4 , in particular, run remarkably well on PCs. Meanwhile, PSN’s best first-party sale at the moment is Bloodborne for PlayStation 4, down to an insanely low price of $8. (Or you can get its “complete,” DLC-loaded edition for $20, down from $50.)
EA’s Origin download shop has become a lot less of a pain in the butt in the past year, thanks to a smaller app footprint and a clean redesign. Its users can find huge discounts on the company’s best PC games of the year. Spoiler alert: Both Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 are in our year-end list of 2016 gaming picks, and they’re both better on PC, so if you’re interested in one of them, now might be a good time.
If hard copies of games are more up your alley, and you can stand waiting until after Christmas to receive them, Newegg has possibly the best sale offer right now: 40 percent off of every game on this page when you use the checkout code EMCFGGG64. It’s unclear whether the code only works for the first game you buy with the code, or all of them, but the selection of games compatible with that code is quite good, with PC and console versions of Dishonored 2 particularly standing out.
Find any particularly good sales or bundles in these links or others? Honestly, while I typically hate doing the “leave your tips in the comments” thing, there’s just too many sales for us to track at this point. Help your Ars friends (both readers and staffers) figure out where the best deals are.
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