When you pre-order a game, you want it on release date. Part of the benefit of pre-ordering is that you can still play your game on the day it comes out without having to camp out at the store until midnight or make an excursion that day to get it. Why fight the crowds when you don’t have to?
Until recently, this wasn’t a challenge. You could just pre-order your game on Amazon, choose “Release Date Delivery” as your shipping option, and for just 99 cents your game would show up at your doorstep on release date.
Amazon has made some changes and the 99 cent option isn’t available anymore. Here’s how to get around that.
Amazon’s New Shipping Options
You’ll notice in the green text, it states that release-date delivery option is available for most continental U.S. addresses. When you add the game to your cart and proceed through the checkout, you are greeted with some more information on your shipping options.
Since the order is being fulfilled by Amazon, it qualifies for free Super Saver Shipping. This will get you your game sometime before Christmas. That’s certainly fine if you’re buying this for someone’s Christmas present.
But that’s not we’re about here. We want the game as soon as it’s released. If you order two or more (business) days in advance (that usually means Thursday since most games are released on Tuesday), you can opt for two-day shipping. If you are a procrastinator and wait until the Monday before, you’ll have to choose one-day shipping to get your game on release date. For instance, Borderlands 2 comes out this Tuesday. This is what you’ll see if you try to order it now.
Normally, this would suck because two- or one-day shipping isn’t cheap. The cost of shipping would definitely eat into your profits and limit your ability to use the Video Game Pre-Order Madness system to its full potential.
Thankfully, there’s a pretty great option to still get your game on release date without breaking the bank.
Pre-Order Shipping with Amazon Prime
Several years ago, Amazon created a subscription service called “Amazon Prime.” The main feature of this service was free two-day shipping. This was a good deal for avid Amazon customers, but unless you were buying a lot of books, it wasn’t really that great.
Things are different now. Amazon is now much more the an online book store. Of course they also sell video games now, but I also buy lots of movies, music, and computer gear from Amazon. And now with their changes to pre-order shipping costs, Amazon Prime can be a cost-effective way to still get the games you want, when you want them (and all those other products, too).
And in addition to the free two-day shipping, Amazon Prime members can also get free access to a ton of content on Amazon Instant Video (which you can install on your PS3) and free access to a ton of Amazon Kindle ebooks (you don’t even need a Kindle — you can read them from your computer or smartphone).
Is Amazon Prime Right For You?
If you love video games and love to get them on the day they come out (and with all the other bonuses you get for pre-ordering from Amazon), Amazon Prime might be a good deal for you.
But you don’t have to decide right now. You can have a free-trial for a full month to decide if you want to keep your subscription or not. Even if you know you don’t want to pay the annual fee, you can at least sign up for free for a month, get a few games and then cancel before they start charging you. (If you’re going to do this method, you might want to be strategic about it: pick a month that has a lot of great games coming out.)
*Disclaimer: I have been buying stuff from Amazon for years and am extremely satisfied with their service. That’s why I’m happy to promote their service to you through my affiliate links. If you buy through my links, a small percentage is used to help fund this site.