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PS5 and Xbox Series X will be Walmart+ exclusive February 24 – but the consoles won't be alone
Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox confirmed, but so are saving on other Spring 2022 deals for Walmart+ members
Walmart broke the news over the weekend that it’ll have both a PS5 restock and Xbox Series X restock exclusive to Walmart+ members on February 24 at 12pm EST, as first reported by The Shortcut, but those gaming consoles won’t be alone.
In addition to PS5 Disc for $499, PS5 Digital Edition for $399 and Xbox Series X for $499, Walmart will offer other deals: Samsung 4KTV price drops, Vizio 4KTV set at even cheaper prices, affordable Chromebook laptops, entry-level Windows laptops, popular air fryers and discounted Hoover vacuums, along with other electronics at a big ‘Walmart rollback prices’ on Thursday, February 24.
Here’s a list of exactly what will be on sale that day
PS5 Disc $499
PS5 Digital Edition $399
Xbox Series X $499
50-inch RCA 4KTV with Roku built-in for $278 (Savings of $421)
55-inch Vizio 4K UHD with Quantum SmartCast $398 (Savings $100)
Hoover Air Steerable Upright Vacuum Cleaner for $89 (Savings of $100)
Samsung Chromebook 4 11.6” for $139 (Savings of $26)
HART 215-Piece Mechanics Tool Set for $98 (Savings of $61)
10L Chefman Multifunction Air Fryer for $79 (Savings of $50)
Igloo 56-can Reactor Soft Sided Cooler for $44 (Savings of $30.99)
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6” for $399 (Savings of $100)
Walmart+ required for PS5 and Xbox Series X
The paid version of Walmart+ at $12.95/month is required to access the PS5 and Xbox Series X restock on Thursday, February 24. The same applies to the discounts for other electronics listed above – the entire sale marathon is for members only.
This news may feel like a slap in the face to consumers who won’t be able to purchase the Sony and Microsoft video game consoles without paying the Walmart+ fee. But there are also millions of people who signed up for Walmart+ and it seems as if the largest US retailer is trying to incentivize subscribers to stay with the program. It wants people who have been paying $12.95 to stick with Walmart+ and people who forked over the full $98 for the entire year to feel fulfilled in time for renewal (Walmart+ first launched on September 15, 2021).
We saw this same retail strategy in the days before Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021, when thousands of early Black Friday deals were exclusive to paid Walmart+ members for a period of four hours before becoming available to everyone else. Needless to say, the PS5 and Xbox restock sold out before non-subscribers could even try for the consoles. You were never going to be able to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox without Walmart+ (and plenty of paid subscribers missed out too due to high demand).
The same is obviously going to happen again on Thursday, even in February 2022. Demand for PS5 and Xbox Series X is still incredibly high with Horizon Forbidden West driving demand for PS5 restocks. And it’s not unthinkable that we’ll see the same thing happen when the PSVR 2 pre-order date occurs in 2022. Demand will be unprecedented for the PS5 VR headset.
Walmart+ is trying to rival Amazon Prime
The timing couldn’t be more perfect to pitch Walmart+ as an alternative to Amazon Prime. Amazon just announced a $20 price increase for its Prime service, meaning it now costs $139 per year instead of $119 for new members. Current Amazon Prime customers will see the price hike for their renewals after March 25.
Compare that to Walmart+ today, which comes out to $98 per year and includes free shipping as well as even gas station savings and scan-and-go payments for in-store purchases. Those are perks that Amazon can’t offer online members. The only thing missing from Walmart+ is a video streaming service like Amazon Prime Video.
By locking PS5 and Xbox Series X behind the $12.95/month or $98/year, Walmart is going to stoke ire among frustrated video game shoppers. They’re already paying for that PlayStation Plus membership every 12 months. But Walmart+ is also going to make the console restock process smoother. As I’ve reported in the past, scripted bots from resellers have a harder time purchasing PlayStation 5 and Xbox in large quantities when Walmart and other retailers lock them behind fee-based memberships.
As much as programs like Walmart+ are unpopular, Best Buy Totaltech takes the cake – it costs $199 per year without the ability to pay for the service monthly. Compare that to Walmart+ and doesn’t seem as bad, especially when no retailer has restocked the PS5 during President’s Day sales 2022 or much at all in February 2022.
Walmart+ is annoying until you benefit from purchasing a PS5 or Xbox Series X at MSRP – then you couldn’t be more thankful to pay $12.95 for the opportunity.