The supply drought for the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles — the PS5 and Xbox Series X — is long over, so it seems odd to ask the question posed in the headline. But if you frame it as “Should I buy one on Prime Day or wait for a better price later in the year?” it starts to make a little more sense. Because then the answer becomes “Maybe.” It all hinges on what exactly is being offered and the possibility of seeing discounts on either console when Black Friday rolls around (and if you want to wait that long).
This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide to everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.
Currently, the Xbox Series S, for example, is regularly available for less than its $300 price; even now, before Prime Day kicks off on July 11, it’s available for $250 from Dell. So for that one, the price might not go much lower when holiday sales arrive. However, there may be some Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription promos or game or controller bundles to sweeten the deal.
Finding a discount on the PS5 at any time of the year is unlikely to happen, at least not on the console itself. What you might find are higher-priced game or accessory bundles with the PS5 as a way to lure you in. That can be a fine way to get it, but don’t let yourself be swayed into paying extra for a lot of stuff you don’t want. If you were planning to buy two DualSense controllers, a charging station, a Pulse 3D headset and Horizon Forbidden West, that’s one thing; if you only wanted the console and controller, it’s a lot of extra cash to lay down, especially if you’ve waited this long.
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The Xbox Series X was a tad easier to find when the PS5 was in short supply. And by that I mean it was at least easier to get without compulsively monitoring stock trackers. However, that doesn’t mean it’ll be any cheaper for Prime Day.
Like Sony’s PS5, the Xbox Series X might not be discounted on its own for Prime Day, but moderate bundle discounts are more likely to be available. You may have to wait until the holiday shopping season to see a significant discount.
However, if you really want an X, but can’t afford to pay the $500 upfront and have reasonable credit, you have the option of getting it through Xbox All Access for $35 per month (24 months). The catch is it includes two years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, making the total well over what you’d pay for the console alone, which includes only three months of XGPU. But XGPU really is worth subscribing to, and while you don’t save a lot through All Access, you don’t pay more than you would otherwise.
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The Series S is already selling at a slightly lower price than it did at launch. The S is underappreciated. It’s a good size for small spaces, and perfect for first-time console players who don’t want to spend as much. It’s also a good match for popular budget TVs that can’t necessarily support 4K at 120Hz refresh — including some you may find on sale for Prime Day.
We don’t really expect great deals on the S for Prime Day, and, like the Xbox Series X, we might see some better prices on the S for the holidays, albeit not huge cuts. So buying now might be a decent option.