Rockstar's open-world western sequel officially arrives Friday, but it might be more complicated to get than you think.
Jason ParkerSenior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Buying a physical or digital copy of a game is usually pretty cut and dry, but Red Dead Redemption 2 might give you a couple of obstacles depending on how you want to get it. The official release is Friday, Oct. 26, with some opportunities to snag it earlier on Thursday. But depending on how you order it, you could either be playing the much-anticipated sequel as soon as possible, or stuck waiting long past midnight.
Here's how to make the most of your purchase, whether you're weighing preordering or waiting for the day of release to make a decision.
Getting Red Dead Redemption 2 early at Target
If you want a physical copy of the game to add to your library, Target has set up a way to buy Red Dead Redemption 2 before the game officially goes live. According to Target's weekly ad, starting at 9 p.m. local time Thursday, Target will make both the regular ($60) and deluxe ($80) versions of the game available for in-store pick up. You still won't be able to play the game until 12 a.m. Friday, but with this method, you could have it loaded and ready to go on your console while people waiting in line at other retailers will just be entering the store.
Starting Friday, Target is also offering a deal on the PS4 pro with RDR2 included for free at the standard price of $400 for the console.
Xbox One, Playstation 4 bundle deals
If you're looking for an Xbox One to play Red Dead Redemption 2 on in the first place, one of your best bets is to head to GameStop. They're offering $100 off of either the Xbox One S or Xbox One X when you purchase the game, and the discount can also include upcoming titles like Fallout 76. The Red Dead Redemption 2 bundle with
, for example, brings the $560 regular price down to $460.
Those deals run until Saturday, Nov. 3, so your time ahead of peak holiday gift-buying season is limited
Other retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and
will also participate in the bundle discounts, though the exact details of those bundles are not yet known. Those discounts begin Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT.
If you're looking to join the Playstation 4 community instead, Walmart, GameStop and Best Buy are all offering a $399 PS4 Pro bundle including Red Dead Redemption 2 while supplies last.
Watch out: The download is huge
If you opt to download the game digitally instead of getting a physical copy, don't think you're going to be playing right away. Red Dead Redemption 2 requires roughly 100GB to download (99GB for PS4 (plus 50GB for the installation process) and 107GB for Xbox One) regardless if you get it on a disc or digitally. Not only will people have to scramble to make space on smaller console hard drives, but the download itself is going to take a while.
Even even if you wait for reviews, which come out Thursday morning at 7 a.m. ET, 4 a.m. PT, to make a call on your preordering via PSN or Xbox Live, you're going to want to start pre-installing your digital copy right away.
What about the Amazon Prime discount?
Following this year's changes to its 20 percent discount on game preorders, Amazon Prime members now only receive 10 percent off of preorders, and that is only eligible for select games. Red Dead Redemption 2, unfortunately for fans, is not one of those games.
Did you forget to preorder?
After all, not everybody is staring at gaming news sites all day. If Red Dead Redemption 2's hype is only just reaching you, there are still some options for preorder. Gamespot has built a guide for the places you can still preorder the game, with the many retailer-specific bonuses. If you're impressed by the early reviews, you can still get things like additional costumes, horses and other in-game bonuses just for preordering.
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