Black Friday is beginning early for shoppers looking to score an HDTV or a video game console for the holidays. BFads.net reports that Walmart is reprising last year's Amazing Electronics Event Sale, which delivered prices as good -- and in some cases better -- than what the retail giant offered later in the holiday shopping season. The sale will be held this Saturday, Nov. 6, and the offers are good online or in the chain's brick-and-mortar stores. Of course, as they say, quantities are limited.
PS3 headlines the "Event"
Looking through the offerings in the Amazing Electronics Event Sale, there are some decent bargains but the star of the show might be Walmart's deal on the Sony PlayStation 3 320 GB bundle. The store isn't cutting the normal selling price, which is $399, but is throwing in a $50 gift card. As BFads.net reports, that mirrors a similar deal last year, in which Walmart offered a $50 gift card with the Xbox 360 during the Amazing Electronics Event Sale. Notably, the retailer did not repeat the offer on Black Friday itself.
The 320 GB bundle is Sony's top-end PS3 offering. In addition to outfitting the console with the largest hard drive available, it includes the Move controller (which brings Wii-like motion control to the PS3), Eye Camera and a Sports Champion game. And don't forget that in addition to being a high-end gaming system, the PS3 is a pretty capable Blu-ray Disc player. You can learn more about the PS3 in our reports on video game consoles and Blu-ray players.
Big screens, small screens, smaller prices
Walmart is also discounting four Vizio HDTVs, though the best deal might be on the the 55-inch E550VL, which is being offered on Saturday for $898. That's around $200 cheaper than what's typically found at major retailers, including Walmart. If you want a smaller screen, Walmart's sale price on the 47-inch E470VL is $698, a $100 discount over the everyday selling price there.
Both TVs are part of Vizio's E0VL series, which gets a so-so rating at CNET, one of the few professional reviewers to have evaluated it. CNET notes a number of technical bobbles in picture quality, though it is still called decent. On the plus side, the E550VL and E470VL are among the cheapest in their screen sizes to deliver 120 Hz processing. Other "in demand" features such as an LED backlight, 3D support and Internet streaming are nowhere to be found -- not a surprise in this price range -- but a few unexpected goodies such as picture-in-picture are included. User reviews are pretty positive overall at sites across the Internet, with most saying that picture quality is perfectly fine, especially considering the price.
For those most interested in a smaller TV for a bedroom or dorm room, the 26-inch Vizio M260VA at $198 looks like a very solid value as well. That price undercuts the lowest selling price we saw by at least $100. Professional reviewers have not weighed in, but user reports are very complimentary. The M260VA is part of Vizio's Razor series, so named because of its very thin case. That's a benefit of the M260VA's edge-lit LED backlight, which also helps cut energy consumption. Other features are not terribly abundant, but some might also appreciate a picture-frame function that allows for slideshow presentations of photos.