Video games have been subject to a grand War of the Retailers over the last few years. GameStop is, at retail, the behemoth controlling a majority of the physical games bought and sold. Best Buy has been trying to steadily chip away at it, especially in the used market, and now Amazon is making a bid to take down the champ with new retail sales.
How? Well, if you’re a Prime member, you now get 20 percent off on “select” pre-orders. We’re putting “select” in quotes because Amazon is applying the term rather liberally; you’ll find everything from the next Steins: Gate to The Division has the discount applied. You’ll even find those fancy special editions full of swag in there. You may also notice that Amiibo and Lego Dimensions also get these discounts, just in case you weren’t an obsessive collector of those yet.
There are, of course, a few restrictions to the pre-order bonanza. First, the 20 percent comes off the list price, not the discounted price, and you won’t see the discount until you put it in your cart. And that’s not all: the coupon only applies up to two weeks after the release date. It also only applies to physical copies of games. And you’ll have to be a Prime member, which costs $100 a year, but you save that just on shipping, (forget the free TV you’ll watch, the free music you can stream, and so on). Besides, if you buy more than eight games a year new, you’ll break even just on that.
This doesn’t appear to be a promotion with an explicit time limit, but that said, it’s unlikely to last forever. For now, though, if you’ve got some pre-orders you want for 2016, it’s time to go to Amazon.