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Console gaming is one of those rare hobbies that's actually gotten cheaper over the years. Back in the olden days of physical discs and (gasp!) cartridges, your options for budget-friendly games and accessories were pretty much limited to whatever you could find in the bargain bin of your local game store, or used copies of games that looked like they'd starred in the unlucky part of a monster truck rally.
Now, the limitless availability of digital download copies of games, amazing indie, live service games, and well-made third-party accessories has led to an environment where you can get your hands on more games and hardware than you're likely to have time to play through.
We're here to help you use this year's Amazon Prime Day sale to snag even more games, controllers, headsets, and other gaming must-haves for every major console. Read on for deals on some of the hottest titles and the most vital peripherals.
Even on Prime Day it's often rare to see sales on actual consoles, especially during a time when most consoles are perpetually out of stock. While we haven't found any sales on lone consoles just yet, we did spot a deal on the perennial console buyer's favorite: the bundle.
Thankfully this isn't your usual console bundle with lots of no-name, useless accessories packed in just to drive up the price. In this deal you're getting Microsoft's Xbox Series S console (normally $290 on its own) with the console version of Steelseries' Arctis 3 headset (normally $70 on its own) for barely more than the price of the console itself.
This is a great option for those looking to get their first console or those wanting to upgrade to the latest gen and grab what's essentially a free headset on the way.
It Takes Two was something of a surprise hit. It's an action-adventure game from a smaller studio with the somewhat unique mechanic of requiring two players to complete. At a time when most major hits tend to be AAA titles from bigger studios, It Takes Two garnered a cult following through the comedic, often disastrous, attempts of many streamers to collaborate with a friend to overcome the game's challenges.
That requirement for collaboration means the game can be a blast to play whether you win or lose, even if that enjoyment just comes from ribbing each other about terrible timing or unbelievably bad coordination. The game's rating of "T - for Teen" means all but the youngest family members can get in on the action as well.
Perhaps best of all from a deals perspective, is the fact that only one of the two players needs to actually own the game, even for online co-op. This means you could technically even split the $20 cost with a friend bringing it down to $10 for each of you.
Sony's PlayStation 5 continues to be a hot commodity...so hot you may not have been able to get your hands on one yet. While we can't do much to help you there right now, we can help you get ready with some extra controllers for your current or future PS5 at a rare discount.
This deal includes all color variants of the official PS 5 DualSense controller: White, Black, Starlight Blue, Galactic Purple, and Cosmic Red. The Black and White options usually sell for $70, while the more exotic variants ask a steeper $75. This sale drops them all to the same $59 price point.
That's an incredible deal on one of the most technically-advanced console controllers ever made, with its built-in audio output, immersive haptic feedback, and dynamic adaptive triggers that actually let you feel the resistance from in-game weapons and devices.
We've all been in a voice chat lobby with someone who sounds like a velociraptor being murdered because of whatever awful microphone they're using. Even if you haven't, you've likely gotten killed because your headphones weren't good enough to let you hear your enemy's footsteps as they snuck up on you.
You don't want to be either of those guys, so why not buy into one of the longest-lasting gaming audio companies on the planet by grabbing a discounted Astro A10 gaming headset? This model might be on the lower end of the company's broad lineup, but that doesn't mean it's not a huge upgrade for many gamers.
The A10's "rugged detachable cable" system and steel headband mean the headset will stand up to all but the most exaggerated gamer rages. Audio should be top-notch as well, with the extended frequency spectrum support and flip-down, omnidirectional mic. You'll even be able to use the same headset across your Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, PS4/5, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac, thanks to its ultra-flexible 3.5mm audio connection.
Microsoft's Flight Simulator is one of the longest running video game series in existence. Its latest entry is its biggest ever, letting you fly everything from The Spirit of St. Louis to commercial airliners to the Pelican from Microsoft's Halo series.
While Flight Simulator may give you visions of virtual cockpits that cost tens of thousands of dollars, the game can be equally enjoyable with nothing but an Xbox controller in your hands. Even if you end up getting so into the game you decide to make a cockpit of your own, Microsoft's digital codes let you play across Xbox Series X/S and Windows.
All three versions are on sale right now, dropping the Standard edition to $45, the Deluxe Edition to $75, and the all-inclusive Premium Deluxe version to $105.
The most recent generation of consoles pretty much put the final nail in the coffin of physical media. While some out there still chose to purchase a PlayStations 5 Disc Edition or an Xbox Series X over the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition or Xbox Series S due to the formers' inclusion of a physical disc drive, many feel it's just no longer necessary.
Remember when a popular game would sell out at launch and you'd have to wait weeks or months to join your friends in playing it because you couldn't track down a physical copy? No one misses that. But, we still need a place to keep all of the infinitely available games we can now download, on-demand, to our favorite consoles. For this, the best solution is a speedy SSD (Solid State Drive), and one of the best lines of those is Western Digital's WD_Black series.
You can choose from either a P10 drive designed specifically to work with Xbox's proprietary hardware, or a USB 3.2 drive compatible with Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Mac. Either way, you'll be saving a huge amount off of the drives. This is extremely helpful, especially if you're looking to snag one of the higher, multi-terabyte capacity versions that normally retail for the better part of $1,000. Be sure to select the capacity you'd prefer when clicking on one of the product listings below.
Logitech might be best known as a PC peripheral maker, but many of its modern headsets and other peripherals can be used with consoles, including the G535. This lightweight, stylish headset is compatible with both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, as well as PCs, via its included wireless dongle.
The changeable and reversible suspension headband also gives gamers a way to express themselves and customize their headsets for their own preferences, or to wow their streaming audience.
With almost a quarter of the price knocked off during this pre-Prime Day sale, gamers can get access to the exceptional sound provided by the built-in 40mm drivers and the exceptional ease-of-use provided by the unit's plug-and-play design, all for just under $100.
Assassin's Creed is one of the longest-running action/adventure series out there. It's most recent main-line title, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, is one of the most well-received entries in the series in many years. It was widely praised for its Viking-themed open world, unique character customization, and ability to meld traditional Assassin's Creed combat with the savagery you'd expect in a game about Vikings and Norse myth.
The standard version of this game includes access to the base game, with all of the season passes and additional content being available for purchase from Ubisoft. You can take all of the money you'll save on this deal and put it toward buying the DLC you actually want, rather than springing for much more expensive upgraded edition with content you don't actually care about.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is available for box the Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, meaning you'll be able to play it on any current or previous-gen Xbox console. However, it's also been optimized to look best on the powerful Series X, providing Ultra HD and HDR10 graphics to really bring its brutal, icy world to life
Turtle Beach is one of the leading names in gaming audio. Its name may not evoke the same clout as the likes of Logitech, Razer, and that ilk, but it's got an almost cult-like following among devotees to its usually solid build quality, fair pricing, and long-lasting products. Since 2019, it has also owned Roccat and had significant influence over the audio devices being produced and released by that brand.
This particular model is a wallet-friendly, corded option that's great for younger gamers and anyone on a budget. Its unique red/black color scheme also makes it a rare unit that matches well aesthetically with the Nintendo Switch, unlike the much more common black/green and white/blue color schemes being released to coordinate with the Xbox and PlayStation lines, respectively.
Features of the Recon 70 include 40mm drivers, a flip-down mic with auto-mute, leatherette earcups for improved bass response and noise isolation, and a lightweight design. It's compatible with Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4/5, PC, and mobile devices thanks to its universal 3.5mm connector.
The best Prime Day console Gaming deal is the Xbox Series S and Arctis 3 wired gaming headset bundle. You're getting a current-gen console and one of the best mid-range gaming headsets out there for less than you can often expect to pay for the console alone.
I chose the deals you see here based on several factors: the amount and percentage of the discount, the quality of the item, available competitors (and their pricing), and the historical scale of the discount.
I also selected products that I've owned/played myself or would purchase. I've been a console gamer since the 8-bit era, and I've been writing about games for n two decades. So, I can compare a deal not just to its contemporaries, but to a vast history of incredible gaming offers I've spotted over the years.
I also tried to include at least one product specific to each of the three main console makers (Nintendo, Microsoft, and PlayStation). We'll continue to update with more deals as they become available closer to Prime Day 2022.
Prime Day 2022 begins on Tuesday, July 12, and runs through Wednesday, July 13. Amazon and a slew of the brands available on the site will offer pre-Prime Day sales across every product category between now and the big day. Make sure to regularly check ZDNet's Prime Day coverage for the best offers leading up to the event.
One of the easiest ways is to check which deals Amazon is promoting on its own pre-Prime Day pages. You can use the linked page to choose your favorite product categories and brands within the filters available, too.
When you find a product you're interested in, it's always wise to double-check that its price is as awesome as it seems by pasting a link to its Amazon listing into price-tracking services like CamelCamelCamel. Services like it provide historical data for Amazon's pricing, as well as third-party reseller pricing.
Also, always check other retailers before and during Prime Day for sale prices on the same products with Amazon discounts. Online retailers like Walmart, Target, eBay, and others usually put up some exceptional sales to compete with Amazon's Prime Day event.
Finally, be sure to keep your eyes on ZDNet's Prime Day tips and tricks hub, where you can find additional ways to score the best discounts during one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
ZDNet has been rounding up the best Prime Day deals by category:
Visit our Prime Day hub to discover even more great deals. If you'd like tips and tricks on how to suss out bargains on Amazon yourself, see: How to find the best deals, plus tips on how to master the sale.
Finally, Amazon isn't the only retailer holding a summer sale. Best Buy, Target, and others have incredible deals on offer right now. Check them out here: The best Prime Day competitor deals: Top sales not at Amazon
The deals above are some of the best offerings with the broadest appeal. However, there are a few easy-to-miss deals that are also worth a look.