In case you haven’t heard, the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com, recently announced that their Prime members would be getting some killer discounts on new and upcoming video games. But wait, doesn’t Best Buy already have similar discounts in place for their Gamers Club Unlocked? Looks like we got us a retail throw down...
Each discount program has it’s own good and bad points, but which one is best for gamers who tend to spend more on video games than food? Let’s watch his fight play out.
Round One - Membership Price
Best Buy: $30 for two years (dropped last March from $99)
Amazon: $99 for one year (occasionally on sale for around $70)
Winner: Best Buy
From a strictly gaming point of view, Best Buy’s low low $30 price point is hard to beat. Not to mention that it lasts twice as long. You could potentially buy six years worth of discounts for the price of ONE year with Prime. After the purchase of three normally-$60 titles you’ll already have covered the cost of admission into the Gamers Club.
Round Two - Discount
Best Buy: 20% off any new physical game. 10% off any used game. 10% bonus trade in credit. 20% off also applies to all toys-to-life figures (amiibo, Skylander, Disney Infinity, etc.).
Amazon: 20% off any upcoming physical game up for preorder or any physical game that has been out for less than two weeks. 20% off also applies to most new toys-to-life figures and preorders.
Winner: Best Buy
Best Buy pulls ahead in the discount category as well by not limiting customers to purchase games before or directly after their release. This means you can wait for games to drop in price and then stack your Gamers Club discount on top. Any in-stock physical game of the past, no matter how expensive or cheap, is fair game. The used games and trade in discounts are just icing on the cake.
Round Three - Selection
Best Buy: All mainstream titles and the vast majority of other games coming soon and already out. Best Buy stores tend to lack copies of many titles that are less in the public eye, but the online store can usually pick up that slack.
Amazon: Pretty much every game ever. Any new titles will qualify for Prime discounts and shipping. More obscure Japanese-centric games are more likely to be in stock (or just available in general) when compared to Best Buy.
It’s hard to beat a company who sells everything under the sun. Amazon usually has more selection and more in stock, though Best Buy does a decent job of it online. Just don’t expect to walk into a Best Buy and find that Vita cult hit that was well received in Japan.
Round Four - Delivery
Best Buy: Free launch day store pickup. Already out games can be picked up in store soon after purchased online. Free (if total over $35) launch day home delivery on some titles. Free (if total over $35) standard three to five day shipping on already released games.
Amazon: Launch day home delivery on pretty much all games. Two, one or same day delivery on already released games.
While Amazon is the clear winner when it comes to home delivery, Best Buy’s pick-up option is hard to pass up if one lives nearby. It comes down to what’s worse in your book - waiting for a game to arrive by mail or being forced to go pick it up yourself. As many gamers enjoy buying games at launch this is also a toss up, as both companies offer free launch day shipping on well-known and highly anticipated games.
Round Five - Extras
Best Buy: Purchases build up points that lead to Best Buy gift cards (250 points = $5). As many have pointed out, Best Buy also rewards preorders for big name titles with $10 reward cards as well.
Amazon: Free two-day shipping on millions of non-gaming related items. Amazon Prime Streaming Video service. Amazon music. Special Prime discounts on other items daily.
Amazon Prime includes a ridiculous amount of perks, and the list keeps growing. Chances are many gamers already have Amazon Prime to take advantage of one of these extras. And why not save some moolah on video games now that Prime includes a discount on those as well? It makes perfect sense. For those who aren’t into fast shipping and streaming media, there’s not much of value in the much more expensive Prime package.
Overall Winner: Best Buy
When it comes strictly to the world of discount gaming, Best Buy is still your best option. With the $30 price tag, and the ability to use your discount on games past preorder and launch, it just makes too much sense not to take advantage of the Gamers Club. Amazon is a very close second and can certainly be the better option depending on your preferences and if you’re already a long time Prime user.
I created this handy-dandy flowchart for your consideration when choosing.
If you are the type of person who buys lots of games at launch then you owe it to your wallet to try one of these two options. Some crazy people (like myself) are members of both Prime and Gamers Club Unlimited, simply because I use Amazon for lots of shopping outside of games and live near a Best Buy. What’s your plan of attack?
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