The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into nearly every major event this year, and among the countless number of cancellations and delays is Amazon Prime Day, which, you may have noticed, didn’t happen in July as usual this year. Despite multiple delays, Prime Day 2020 is indeed happening this year, and Amazon has just confirmed the dates: October 13 and 14.
Despite happening later than usual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Day is sure to bring steep discounts on some of the best games for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Prime Day is also an excellent opportunity to snag consoles and PC hardware at a discount, and you’ll also find sweet deals on gaming accessories, merch, Blu-rays, collectibles, and practically anything on your wishlist. Prime Day is known for having deals on par with Black Friday–and this year, the two events will be happening nearly back to back–so for gamers on a budget, October is sure to bring some of the best prices of the year.
The key to snagging the deals you want on Amazon Prime Day is to go in prepared. To help you out, we’ve assembled a guide with everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2020, including exactly when it starts, the best deals to expect, and more.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Prime Day is a massive sale Amazon puts on each summer (usually in July) for Prime members. It all began in 2015, when Amazon had a sale to celebrate its 20th birthday. In the years since, Prime Day has grown into a shopping extravaganza in its own right, with deep discounts on all kinds of items across the whole store.
When is Amazon Prime Day 2020?
Amazon Prime Day 2020 will kick off at midnight PT / 3 AM ET on Tuesday, October 13, and end at 11:59 PM PT on Wednesday, October 14 (2:59 AM ET on October 15). The event will last a full 48 hours as it has in recent years.
How much is Amazon Prime?
The catch, of course, is that you have to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of Prime Day deals. The annual price of a Prime membership is $119 / £79, or you can get a one-month membership for just $13 / £8. Having to buy a subscription is a bummer, but there are ways around dropping cash just to take part in Prime Day. If you’ve never been a Prime member before, you can get a free 30-day trial just by signing up. Students get an even better deal: the Prime Student membership begins with a free six-month trial.
Even if you’re a lapsed Prime member and you can’t get the free trial, signing up for a one-month membership may be worthwhile, depending on what Prime Day deals you want to take advantage of.
Early Prime Day deals
Some Prime Day deals are kicking off early as Amazon begins to build hype around the upcoming sale. As usual, these focus on Amazon-branded hardware and other aspects of the Prime membership, such as Prime Video and Kindle Unlimited. You can check out some of the best early deals happening now below. More deals will be available on October 6, including discounts on the Toshiba 32-inch Smart HD TV, Echo Show 5, and Blink Mini indoor cameras.
More Prime Day deals to expect
Practically anything under the sun will be on sale for Prime Day 2020, but some deals are much better than others. The largest discounts tend to be on Amazon’s own hardware, and the company just announced a slew of new devices ahead of Prime Day, including a redesigned Echo Dot and cheaper Fire Stick. We’ll likely see the first discounts on those during Prime Day. You’ll also find big savings on video games, VR headsets, gaming accessories, 4K TVs, other electronics, apparel, outdoor gear, baby products, and nearly anything else you can buy at the online retailer.
This year, Amazon is giving $10 credit to all Prime members who spend $10 or more on items sold by select small businesses between now and October 12–this includes more than half the items in Amazon’s store worldwide, according to a press release. You’ll then be able to use the $10 credit during Prime Day on almost any product on Amazon. You can check here to see if you have the credit in your account.
Prime Day PS4 and Xbox One deals
Both PlayStation and Xbox are launching next-gen consoles this holiday season, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, so their current-gen consoles will likely drop even cheaper as retailers attempt to clear out their remaining stock. That said, both the PS4 and Xbox One have been hard to find in stock during the pandemic due to a greater number of people gaming, so deals on those consoles may be extremely limited. The Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition have officially been discontinued, but the Xbox One S will still be sold, so we may see some solid bundles for less than $200 this Prime Day. The popular PS4 Slim Only on PlayStation bundle from last Black Friday (which featured three great console exclusives) was sold for $200, and it’d be great to see a similar bundle return for those who couldn’t–or didn’t care to–preorder the PS5.
Instead, we expect to see more deals around games–hopefully some that come with free next-gen upgrades–and online memberships. With Microsoft consistently pushing its Xbox Game Pass subscription rather than forcing people to upgrade to the Xbox Series X, it’s more likely we’ll see a great deal on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which will be worth taking advantage of if you’re primarily an Xbox gamer. PlayStation Plus usually drops to around $40 during sales like Prime Day, so look out for that as well.
Prime Day Nintendo Switch deals
As Nintendo fans are well aware, discounts on the brand’s games and hardware aren’t common, and both the Switch and Switch Lite have consistently been sold out for months due to the pandemic. Because of that, we don’t expect to see any discounts on Switch hardware during Prime Day. Instead, you’ll likely be able to snag some of Nintendo’s first-party titles, like Super Mario Party or Pokemon Sword and Shield, for at least $20 off. Seeing Switch games on sale for $40 is becoming more common throughout the year, so we’d love to see Switch games drop to $30 this holiday season.
Prime Day VR deals
Those interested in VR gaming should keep an eye out for VR headset deals during Prime Day as well. The excellent PSVR five-game mega pack from Black Friday may get discounted to $200 again for Prime Day and offers the best value of any PSVR bundle on the market. The new Oculus Quest 2 releases on October 13, the day Prime Day begins, so don’t expect any discounts there. The original Quest has been discontinued.
Prime Day game deals
Finally, expect thousands of game deals during Prime Day, not only at Amazon but also at other retail stores like Best Buy and Walmart as well as digital game stores like Steam, PSN, Xbox Live, and the Nintendo Eshop. While it’s hard to say exactly how low each game might go, you’re sure to find whatever’s on your wishlist at its best price during Prime Day. All the biggest games from the past few years are sure to be discounted. Sony and Microsoft always offer the steepest discounts on their first-party games, like God of War (PS4) or Gears 5 (Xbox One).
How will coronavirus affect Amazon Prime Day deals?
The biggest effect we expect to see is longer shipping times on some products, which is why you may want to do your holiday shopping on Prime Day rather than waiting until Black Friday this year. Available stock may be more limited as well, so if you see a great deal available on Prime Day, don’t wait to snag it.
The New York Times reported in February that Amazon was concerned it may not be able to meet demand during this year’s Prime Day, so the company has been taking measures to combat product shortages for months now, contacting third-party sellers early to discuss stock availability for Prime Day. The delayed event day has allowed Amazon more time to acquire the goods it needs to host the shopping event, but we still expect to feel the effects of COVID-19 during this year’s Prime Day. We expect Amazon will also emphasize certain categories like home office equipment or loungewear–things people will be looking for as they continue to work from home and minimize going out.
Best tips for Amazon Prime Day
To get the most out of Prime Day, it’s best to know exactly what you’re shopping for. Otherwise, it’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of Amazon’s endless lineup of deals. While Black Friday offers you a lot of time to plan for the exact deals you want to take advantage of, Prime Day deals are generally kept secret until the event kicks off, so you’ll want to be ready at your computer that day to snag anything you want. The best deals are sure to sell out quickly.
There are different types of Prime Day deals to be aware of, and understanding what these are can help your planning. Prime Day will kick off with early access or countdown deals, which will appear on Amazon in early July. Throughout the event, you’ll also see spotlight deals–these run for 24 hours and can take place during the lead-up to Prime Day as well as the event itself. Lightning deals tend to be some of the best discounts of Prime Day, but these are limited-time, limited-stock items that will sell out fast. The best way to keep up with those is through the Amazon app on your phone as well as the upcoming deals page on Amazon. Hit “watch this deal” to get notified when it starts. Finally, there will be thousands of Prime Day-exclusive deals that run the entire duration of Prime Day, which will likely be 48 hours this year. These offers are still likely to sell out if they feature popular items, like the Nintendo Switch.