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How to Get Xbox One and PS4 Early

The next generation of video game consoles is nearly upon us. Here are 14 tips to ensure you get both systems on day one

X Box One; Playstation 4
Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images; PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images
November 7, 2013 10:50 AM ET

The next generation of video game consoles – in the form of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One – is nearly upon us. The former hits retailers on November 15th, and the latter on November 22nd; if you've been thinking about getting in on the launch action but failed to place your preorder, there may still be hope. Time to bust out your comfy shoes.

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Best Buy, for one, says it will have stock of both consoles on launch day, and the electronics chain is going to start selling them at the stroke of midnight on November 15th (use this tool to find out if a store near you is offering a midnight PS4 event). Best Buy expects lines will start at least two hours before the midnight launch, so plan to arrive early. It's also worth noting that there will be two lines at the stores; be sure to get in the one not designated for those who placed preorders.

Walmart and Target have also both said that extra stock beyond preorders is expected to be available on day one at select stores, for both consoles. The retailers are expecting long lines for the launch, however, which means you'll have to show up early – or perhaps even the night before – to get yours. Fortunately, many of these stores will be open 24 hours, so you won't be waiting out in the cold. Pro Tip: Try the farther afield locations, and try them late at night.

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If waiting around in meatspace isn't your thing, limited quantities of PS4 units will also go live on Target.com in the early morning hours of Nov. 15; we recommend hitting that refresh button starting at midnight EST. For its part, Gamestop suggests prospective console owners sign up for its "First to Know Lists" for either console; when quantities become available they will be notified immediately. This could be as early as launch day, but will continue in the weeks and months that follow.

It's going to be some work, but if all else fails, take solace in the fact that waiting until next year for your new console could help your bottom line. According to many, including Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, better manufacturing efficiency means that prices for next-gen hardware could come down faster than they did for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Plus, you never wanted a stupid next-gen console anyway, right?

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