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Black Friday looms large, bringing with it the promise of discounted goodness. But some of these deals might not be as good as you think.
Fortunately, there are a number of handy price-tracking tools available for console and PC gaming stores.
Xbox One and Xbox 360
Got an Xbox console? Then you should be using Store Parser, delivering price-tracking functionality for Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles. So even if that game is listed at 10% off, a quick visit to the website will show you whether it’s been available at a cheaper price.
The third-party Xbox service also shows whether other regions have the game at a cheaper price, in case you really want to save cash. But the biggest downside is that South Africa isn’t listed as a region, so use the US or UK as a reference region, I guess.
PS4, PS3 and Vita
Got a Sony machine? PS Prices is the service for you, offering price tracking and history for PS4, PS3 and Vita titles. And much like Store Parser, you’ve got a graph showing you a price breakdown over the months.
Otherwise, South African region support, email notifications on price drops and a quick-to-find lowest price field are just a few more reasons to use the service.
Into PC gaming? Then Steam Prices should be one of your first stops, delivering the requisite price-tracking functionality and info on the lowest ever price for a game. In a neat touch, it’s also possible to compare pricing to other regions, in case you want to see whether South Africans are getting shafted.
You can also set up rich notifications for Steam Prices, allowing you to choose a pricing threshold for a notification to be sent. For instance, maybe Game X is on sale for R200, but you’ll only bite if it’s R150 — simply set up the alert with this threshold specified.
Those wanting to compare pricing on the various storefronts might want to check out Is There Any Deal, offering price-tracking on Steam, UPlay, the Humble Store and Origin, to name a few. You can also log in via Steam if you’d like to import your wishlist.
Apple’s platform still has a reputation for hosting quality mobile games, although the gap between it and the Play Store has practically closed over the years.
Still, iOS games can be pricey compared to Android, so you’ll want to use App Shopper, being the go-to price tracking tool for Apple’s mobile platform. The service doesn’t use a graph to display price drops over time, merely listing the various pricing movements on the right-hand side. Still effective, mind you.
It’s unclear if App Shopper supports ZAR, but it provides a solid idea of pricing fluctuations anyway.
Google’s platform doesn’t have as elegant a price-tracking solution as Apple’s, but the App Sales website is a handy service nonetheless.
Aside from listing prominent games and apps on sale, the website also has a very basic price history graph on the right. But it’s unclear how far back this graph goes — for all we know it could only be two or three months.
You really want the actual app to get better functionality, like adding games/apps to watch, notifications and free app alerts, because the website doesn’t seem to have these features.