Thanksgiving is still more than a week away, but makers and sellers of high tech gadgets are already jockeying for your holiday shopping loyalty.
Gamesmanship 101: Tonight (Monday) at midnight, Best Buy will open up the Magnolia home theater departments in select stores to demonstrate how terrific the new Activision game "Call of Duty: Black Opps II" looks in 3D – as running on LG Cinema 3D TVs. And more than 4,000 GameStop stores will be hosting midnight launch events tonight for the same game, sure to be one of the biggest sellers of the season. While there, also check out the interactive kiosks demonstrating Nintendo's breakthrough Wii U game system. Using a unique color screened GamePad controller, the Wii U doesn't officially go on sale until this coming Sunday, though playable demo units are already installed at select Target, Walmart and Toys 'R" Us stores, in addition to those Best Buy and GameStop outlets
Black and Blue Friday Specials: Several retailers have already let "slip" their Black Friday gadget specials. Both Walmart and sister operation Sam's Club will offer high definition LG Blu-ray players priced at a mere $38 – the same kind of wacky deal that jump started interest in DVDs back in its' day. This 2D-only BR model sells elsewhere for $68 to $79. And of course, both discount chains also will have Blu-ray disc deals to go-with that player - including the new to home video family treats "Brave," "Madagascar 3" and "The Lorax" at $9.98 each. And if you're looking for a high def TV upgrade, be sure to say "Sam sent me" for a $799 47-inch LG 3D TV with a bundled outboard sound bar or to snap up a 65-inch Vizio priced at two bucks under a grand (aka $998).
Early arrivers to Walmart on Thanksgiving night (this year the sales start at 8 p.m.) also can score an iPad 2 with 16 MG memory for $399 with a $75 Walmart gift card – quite a sizeable kickback.
Best Buy opens at midnight on November 23 with 293 different gizmo (near) giveaways, spotlighting 19 digital cameras, 14 tablets, 17 TVs, 13 appliances, 13 laptops and the ever popular "many more" - including deals in GPS handhelds, networking products, printers and car audio.
As detailed by TGI Black Friday, the Best Buy come-ons will include a Toshiba 50-inch LED TV at just $399, a house brand Insignia 26-inch HDTV at a mere $99 (down from $199), and a 55-inch Samsung LED 240Hz 1080 LED TV for $799. No model numbers are listed but that Samsung has to be a high end set. Maybe a 2011 leftover?
Best Buy will knock down the 16 GB iPad 2 to $359 and serve up a first generation 8GB Kindle Fire for $159 with a $30 gift card. (Amazon currently lists the latter tablet for $159, sans the kick back.)
In laptops, the best deal going at Best Buy is a 15.6-inch Lenovo computer with 2GB RAM and 320 GB memory for $187, down from $399.