THE PCG Q&A
Did you buy anything this year? Note that it doesn’t have to be stuff that’s specifically PC-related if you picked up a robotic vacuum cleaner or a phone or some sensible household items instead of a new monitor or SSD. If you bought games in the Steam Autumn Sale those count too.
What did you buy in 2020’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales?
Here are our answers, plus a few from our forum.
Chris Livingston: Did I mention I bought an LED light for my toilet? Yes, I did, at length, and will continue to do so at every opportunity. But I also, finally, bought a Nintendo Switch, even though it wasn’t actually on sale. It’s my first console in quite a while, basically since I bought an Xbox 360 to play Red Dead Redemption back in 2010. I only have Mario Kart and Animal Crossing on it, plus a bunch of free NES games, but so far I’m impressed. It’s a neat little machine, except for those joycons that can go straight to hell. (I also bought a Switch Pro Controller, and it’s much better.) Maybe at the holiday break I’ll finally, finally get to play Breath of the Wild.
Alan Dexter: I was sorely tempted to buy parts for a budget gaming PC, but the sales came and went and the items were still sat in my basket. Not being able to buy a decent graphics card was the main reason I didn’t manage to check out. I also completely missed the Steam sale, which is probably as much a blessing as it is a curse. I did manage to buy something for myself though—a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky at the height of the Black Friday sales. It arrived a bit late to get me through the sales though, so I’ve wrapped it up for Christmas.
Andy Kelly: I picked up Rocksmith in the Steam sale for about $10. I’ve been learning to play the bass this year, and I thought this would be a more interactive way of doing it than my usual method of just playing along with people on YouTube. It’s certainly an impressive piece of software. At first I thought I needed the official ‘Real Tone’ cable, but there’s a mode that lets you point a microphone at your amp and that worked well enough. It picked up the notes perfectly. Alas, as much as I enjoy playing a version of Rock Band with a real instrument, I’ve already gone back to YouTube and reading tabs. I just find that easier. But I’ll definitely be dipping back in, especially since I also bought a bunch of DLC songs, which were also reduced.
Dave James: It’s the same every Black Friday. I’m like Odysseus strapped to the mast while the siren song of a new TV floats over the waves. I don’t need a new TV, I’m happy enough with my wee workhorse of a Samsung. That and the fact that if I were to buy a new screen it would have to be OLED or I’d end up filled with buyer’s remorse and hating whatever I’d compromised on. And I really can’t be spending OLED cash on… well… anything.
Andy Chalk: Nothing. I detest Black Friday and everything it represents.
Evan Lahti: Inevitably, another SSD. I was able to find this Crucial 2TB drive for $180. Hope to spend less time culling my Steam folder for neglected installs—I’ve got 1500 games on Steam, it’d be nice to have at least 100 of them on hand.
Jody Macgregor: A new phone. I’ve been needing to upgrade for ages, my old one would cut out partway through calls, ran out of charge too fast, and had a busted headphone jack. So I picked up a Samsung Galaxy S10 and one of those cases with a stand so you can sit it on its side while you play Genshin Impact or The Elder Scrolls Blades or just watch stuff. I’ve missed having headphones that work—got a lot of Warhammer 40,000 audio books to catch up on.
Wes Fenlon: Usually I buy something or other for myself, but I didn’t do that this year. However, I did do a good bit of my Christmas shopping via independent artists doing Black Friday sales. I picked up a few pins, prints, etc., but I think this pair, from Arna Miller & Ravi Zupa, is my favorite. I’ve been enamored with these prints ever since I first saw them imagined as old-timey match boxes. Hopefully my partner enjoys them as much as I do.
Sarafan: I had a Steam voucher, so grabbed a game basically for free. It was Dark Souls 3 with all DLCs. The only DS game I haven’t played for some reason. I also bought Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones on GOG – an interesting RPG with a unique atmosphere. Both games are waiting for their turn. Probably I won’t start neither of them before Cyberpunk 2077 is released. I want to fully focus on CD Projekt Red’s new game, so it’s pointless to begin playing something bigger few days before the release date.
Frindis: No games, but I bought a Samsung Galaxy A71, my first mobile phone upgrade since 2009! Have not opened it yet and pretty excited to see how much stuff I can do with it. I also bought an RGB floor lamp, a couple of pillows, a new iron pan, and an oven pot.
gothying: nothing as i a was skint
drunkpunk: I got myself a new mouse. My G502 has been getting worn out, middle mouse button didn’t work, the scroll wheel was going out, and the pads on the bottom were nearly gone. So I got a G502 hero, because I hate change. I also bought some VR games I was waiting for a sale on, since there were some great sales on those.
Johnway: Surprisingly little. The games were sunset overdrive after it was knocked down to 3.74 and black mesa after it was knocked to half price.
i was tempted by more offers but i decided to resist. Christmas sale around the corner and with a massive catalogue of games, i felt i could hang back and wait.
mainer: ScanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD. It was (and still is as of today 12/3/20) on sale for $149, down from $249 on Amazon. Nothing else, as my big splurge this year was an EVGA RTX 3080, which I was fortunate enough to get on 11/18.
Zloth: I finally got Mad Max. Good stuff. Not great but definitely worth way more than the $5 I paid. Also makes everything I cook for myself look SO healthy!