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Black Friday 2012: Here Are Some Of The Best Tech Deals

black friday

With Thanksgiving winding to a close, it’s time for the next big holiday, Black Friday. Whether or not you camp out tonight there are a lot of great deals to be had at a whole bunch of stores. We’ve got a few of the tech best deals we could find listed below.

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Nintendo Wants You To Try Out The Wii U Before It Goes On Sale

wii u sampling tour

The Wii U and the next generation of video gaming is almost upon us. With the Wii U going on sale in just a few days, Nintendo wants to give everyone in the US a chance to experience it before the big launch day. To do this, they have launched over 5,000 kiosks all over the country in stores like Target, Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us. At these stores you’ll actually be able to learn more about the Wii U, and in some stores even play some of the launch games like Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U and SiNG PARTY, along with ZombiU and Rayman Legends.

You can check out to see where your nearest kiosk is by heading to Nintendo’s site here and entering your zip code.

wii u gamepad demo

For those who don’t know, the Wii U is the first of the next generation of video game consoles (with the long rumored next Xbox/Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 said to be coming sometime next year). The Wii U, builds on the uniqueness of the original Wii with some all new ways to play games. And like the Wii, the Wii U comes with a brand new controller– this time though it’s a buttoned controller with a 6.2 inch touchscreen in the middle of it. With this new controller you can not only play games in all new ways, but you can also do things like stream games right from the TV to the controller so you can play even if the TV itself is off. There is also a camera on the controller (for games and things like video chat), and a full array of buttons on the right and left (including triggers on the back) for the full controller experience. There will also be more traditional Xbox/PS3 like controllers available, and you can also use all your old Wiimote. And of course, the Wii U also now supports full online and HD gaming, areas Nintendo has been lacking in over the years.

The Wii U will be available this Sunday, November 18th in either a $300 basic bundle or a $350 deluxe bundle. For more info on the bundles, see our earlier post here.

So, anyone try out the Wii U yet, and if so, how do you like it?

Nintendo Finally Gives The Wii U A Price And Release Date: Coming November 18th Starting At $300

wii u black

The next generation of game consoles are almost upon us. Last year, Nintendo previewed the first of these new next-gen systems, the Wii U (Microsoft and Sony still haven’t talked about the next Xbox/Xbox 720 or PS4 but both are expected to be announced next year). Now though we finally have a price and release date. Nintendo has announced this week that the Wii U will be available starting on November 18th, for either $300 for the basic bundle, or $350 for the deluxe bundle.

wii u gamepad demo

The $300 basic bundle includes a white Wii U console with 8 GB of internal storage, one white GamePad controller (the tablet like controller you see above), AC adapters for both the console and controller, a sensor bar and a HDMI cable. The $350 Wii U deluxe bundle comes with a black Wii U as well as black versions of everything in the basic set plus the Nintendo Land game, increased console storage capacity of 32 GB, a console stand, GamePad charging cradle and a stand that allows users to place the GamePad vertically on a table. The deluxe bundle buyers will also be enrolled in the “Deluxe Digital Promotion,” which lets you receive points for each digital download and redeem those points for future downloads from Nintendo’s eShop.

Nintendo also revealed 51 games that will be available around the launch, including: Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Skylanders Giants, TRANSFORMERS PRIME, Assassin’s Creed III, ZombiU, Rayman Legends, Just Dance 4, Madden NFL 13, FIFA Soccer 13, Mass Effect 3, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, NBA 2K13, Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Wii Fit U, LEGO City: Undercover, BAYONETTA 2, and The Wonderful 101. Nintendo Wii U games will cost $60, or similar to the current price for most Xbox 360 and PS3 games.

For more info on the launch games see Nintendo’s site here, and for all the info on the Wii U, see our original post here.

Sony Finally Gives The PlayStation Vita A Release Date: Coming To The US February 22nd

ps vita

Ready for Sony’s next generation PSP, the PlayStation Vita? Well, you’ll have to hold on for a bit longer as Sony has just announced the US release date for their next generation PSP– February 22nd, 2012. Yes, 2012, as in next year.

Now while we know this still sucks, we should note that February is only four months away and let’s face it– most of us have been waiting for a true PSP successor for years now, so what’s a couple more months?

In other Vita news, Sony also announced that the Vita will have built-in apps for Facebook, Foursquare, Skype and Twitter— perfect for those times where you want to use this for more than just awesome gaming. Speaking of games, Sony also mentioned that there are over 100 games in development right now for the Vita, including Vita versions of hit games like Call of Duty, FIFA, Uncharted (the Vita version is called Uncharted Golden Abyss), and Assassins Creed– with even more games to be announced “in the months ahead.”

For those who don’t know, the Vita is Sony’s next version of the PSP (aka the PSP2), and as you’d expect, it’s loaded with impressive features like: a 5 inch OLED touchscreen with a 960×544 resolution (or a pretty amazing screen), quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor (think the full power of your computer in your pocket. This allows for things like PS3 quality graphics on a device you can carry in your pocket), full array of buttons with dual analog sticks (so you also get the full PlaySation controller to go with those PS3 like graphics), front and rear cameras (for things like augmented reality games and Skype), and touch sensitive pad on the back (so you can have more control of the games without having to put your fingers on the screen. The touch sensitive panel on the back spans the length of the front’s 5 inch screen– so you can control from the back by touching where you would want on the screen). In short, it’s pretty incredible.

And as for pricing, the Vita still looks to be $249 for WiFi-only or $299 for WiFi+AT&T 3G, though again who knows, maybe the fact that’s it not coming for another four months will make that price drop even further.

So, you gonna wait it out for this or will you get something like an iPod Touch (which now starts at just $199) this holiday season for your portable gaming needs?

More info: PlayStation Blog

AT&T Announces Xperia Play 4G Release Date: Coming September 18th For $50

att xperia play

On AT&T and waiting for the gaming beast of a phone also known as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play? Well, in a little over a week your wait will be over. Starting September 18th the AT&T version of the Xperia Play, called the Xperia Play 4G (because it can access AT&T’s faster HSPA+ “4G” network), can be yours for a pretty great price of only $50 with new 2 year contract and data plan.

Like the Verizon Xperia Play released earlier this year, the AT&T Xperia Play 4G comes with some solid specs like a high-res 4 inch screen (so games and everything else you do on your phone looks nice, sharp and clear), 1 GHZ processor (for speed and so that all your games play well too), the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 5 megapixel back camera with second front camera for video chat, and of course a bunch of pre-loaded PlayStation games so you can start playing the slide-out PlayStation keypad the second you get the phone. The pre-loaded games on here are also a bit different from the Verizon Xperia Play, with the AT&T version coming with: Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Crash Bandicoot, Sims 3, Madden ’11, Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave, and Tower Bloxx (the last two weren’t pre-loaded on the Verizon version). You can also buy over 150 other PlayStation games from the PlayStation game store (including games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Minecraft Pocket Edition)

We found the Xperia Play to be a pretty solid phone when we reviewed the Verizon version a few months back (we found it to be one of the best Verizon phones for back to school) and we were equally impressed with the AT&T version we saw in July (they’re pretty much the exact same phone though AT&T’s comes in blue and has a dock and “music cable” included in the box). And at only $50 with a new 2 year contract and data plan this looks to be a solid deal for anyone looking for a great Android phone on AT&T— and a perfect choice for anyone looking for a great gaming phone.


Back To School Deal of The Day: PS3 Now Only $249

sony ps3 slim

Sure it’s no free Xbox 360, but if you were looking for a PS3 for your dorm room now is probably the best time to get one. Sony this week has announced that they have dropped the PS3’s price $50, with the 160 GB version now starting at $249 and the 320 GB version coming in at $299. Sure it’s not a huge price drop, but we’ll gladly take it and it’s a pretty solid deal particularly if you don’t plan on buying a new laptop for school (or aren’t buying one at the minimum $690 to get the Xbox 360 deal).

And it’s even better when you think of everything else a PS3 can do beyond gaming, like watch Blu-ray movies, stream videos from Netflix/Hulu Plus/YouTube, go online from your TV,  or even watch games with the MLB.TV or new NFL Sunday Ticket apps (which is also coming to the PS3 this season and you don’t need to have DirecTV to use it. The NFL Sunday Ticket app does need you to pay a pretty expensive $339.95 for the season— or $5 more than what DirecTV subscribers pay– but you do get access to 14 out-of-market games per weekend and the Red Zone Channel, all in HD).

If you’re going off to college and want TV but don’t want to pay the crazy cable/satellite fees (or are just looking to save serious money by ditching cable/satellite entirely), the PS3 and its new price look to be perfect for you.

PlayStation Vita Launch Delayed, Not Coming To The US Until Next Year

playstation vita

If you were looking forward to picking Sony’s super-powered next-gen PSP, the PlayStation Vita, this holiday season we’ve got some bad news for you. Sony has announced that unless you live in Japan you won’t be able to pick up the Vita this year. In other words, all of us here in the US or in Europe will have to wait until “early next year” (when exactly is this “early next year” Sony didn’t say).

For those who don’t know, the Vita is Sony’s next-gen PSP that looks to let you take all the power of the PS3 and take it wherever you go. It’s got some of the most insane specs we’ve seen on a portable device yet, with its 5 inch OLED touchscreen with a crazy 960×544 resolution (or a pretty amazing screen), quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor (think of this as all the power of your computer in your pocket, or games that look like you were playing them at home on your PS3), full array of buttons with dual analog sticks (so you also get the full PlaySation controller to go along with those PS3-like graphics), front and rear cameras (for things like augmented reality games and video chat), and a touch sensitive pad on the front and back (so you can have more control of the games without having to put your fingers on the screen. The touch sensitive panel on the back spans the length of the front’s 5 inch screen– so you can control from the back by touching where you would want on the screen). Yeah, we wish it was coming this year too.

Sony also said that there would be no price cuts on the Vita’s $249 price (or the $299 AT&T 3G version), but who knows, maybe the delay will change their minds.

Best Buy Pulls Out Of Microsoft’s Free Xbox 360 Back To School Deal

xbox 360 back to school deal

Looking to take advantage of Microsoft’s awesome back-to-school deal of a free Xbox 360 when you buy a new PC for $699 or more? Well, if you are then we recommend not picking up that new computer from Best Buy as they have pulled out of this back-to-school deal earlier this month. And while we couldn’t find out the reason that Best Buy isn’t offering this free 360 deal anymore, they have confirmed to us that they have stopped offering the deal.

HP, Dell, Amazon and the Microsoft Store are all still offering this deal (which runs until September 3rd and works as long as you have a high school or college student ID)– so if you were looking for a new computer at $699 or more and wanted that free 360 we recommend you look at one of them.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Coming To AT&T Later This Year

sony ericsson xperia play att

Gaming fans on AT&T this ones for you. The HTC Status wasn’t the only big new phone AT&T showed off at their Unwrapped event. Yes, the Xperia Play, aka PlayStation Phone, is coming to AT&T later this year. Not much will be different between the upcoming AT&T version and the one Verizon launched a few weeks back– features like the great 4 inch screen, 1 GHZ processor, Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, 5 megapixel back camera with front camera for video chat, and of course the slide-out PlayStation gamepad are all still here.

Now that’s not to say that the AT&T version won’t be getting some unique features of its own like Sony Ericsson’s custom Timescape UI running on top of Android (think of this as Sony Ericsson’s version of HTC Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz. We actually found this to be pretty nice and easy to use in our brief time with the phone), an option for a blue color in addition to the standard black, and the biggest new addition: support for AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ network. The pre-loaded games on here are also a bit different from the Verizon Xperia Play, with the AT&T version coming with: Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Crash Bandicoot, Sims 3, Madden, Dungeon Defenders: 2nd Wave, and N.O.V.A 2 (the last two weren’t pre-loaded on the Verizon version).

We got to spend a few minutes with the AT&T Xperia Play and it’s pretty much the same as Verizon’s version we recently reviewed— and this is great news if you’re on AT&T and need a great gaming phone that doubles as a true PSP.

Unfortunately the AT&T and Sony Ericsson reps we spoke with wouldn’t give us an exact price or release date on when we can expect the Xperia Play to be available in your local AT&T store, but we’ll of course keep you posted on this once we learn more.

The Teen Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

xperia play pic 2

There have been a lot of great phones already this year but the release of the Xperia Play, aka PlayStation Phone, was probably one of the most anticipated. Finally, the mix of a PSP and a phone was here. We finally got to spend some real quality time with Sony Ericsson and Verizon’s long awaited Android/PSP mashup, and well, was it worth the wait?

We’ve got all the info you’re gonna want to know and more, so read on for our full Teen Review of the Xperia Play.

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