“Do you have Fortnite?” A Parent’s Guide to Buying Video Games

The holiday shopping season is here and similar to last year, your child’s wish list is full of brand new expensive video games that only you can obtain for them. Unlike last year though, you’re prepared. You have pictures on your phone of exactly what you need, you know exactly what video game console they play on and your list is tucked into your pocket.

What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately quite a bit. Let’s go over three small details that your child may have overlooked when giving you shopping instructions.

#1 Special Editions

We’ve parked the car and walk inside the mall on a mission to obtain Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! Easy right? You walk up to the cashier and request the game, only to be asked a simple question, “Were we needing the Pokeball Plus Controller with our game today?”


Don’t forget your controller!

Poke-what? What controller could little Johnny possibly need? He’s already got four. There’s now a $49.99 controller that works only for this game? Is that something he wanted?

It’s important to remember that some games will come with extra accessories designed to coincide with a specific design aspect that the game advertises. Additionally, games may come in packaging that include these bonus items, or additional digital-only bonuses that add more content to their game.



Don’t forget to ask which version they want!

#2 Digital Only

Alright now that we’ve figured out all this special edition nonsense the next item on the list is something they never stop talking about. Fortnite is on the list but the shelves seem to be barren of any copies. We’re pretty sure that Fortnite is one of the biggest games around, but we can’t find it? And we know Johnny is already playing it all the time, why is this on the list? Upon further inquiry with a store associate we find out that there’s something new for Fortnite, the “Deep Freeze” bundle.


There is no game cartridge or disc inside these physical cases


What Johnny is really wanting is the new digital content for the game, even though this “physical” package will suffice. It has a code within the box to grant access to all the new costumes and digital money they want. This can also be obtained via digital gift cards, but perhaps this will be more appropriate to wrap up so it can be opened during the holidays.

Remember that any season pass, or other digital packages are obtainable with digital gift cards. Not everything will have a pseudo physical package like Fortnite.

season pass

Digital-only content (DLC) released over several weeks or months

#3 Pre-Orders

We’ve weathered the special edition minutiae, deciphered the digital pass enigma and we’re down to the final item on our list. Before we even have a chance to approach a sales associate with a question, we see a poster for just the item we seek!


Release date: December 7th

There’s only one problem. Johnny’s most wanted item has not released yet. We could come back on that day, or we can see if the retailer takes reservations on games. It’s not the end of the world if we don’t reserve it. In fact, we may be able to come right into the store on the release day and pick it up without any issue. But the possibility exists that this is the battle plan of every other parent, and grandparent, and aunt, and uncle, and maybe everyone’s in-laws are trying to do this too. And apparently the location already has over 150 copies reserved for eager gamers?

Sometimes the biggest titles release in the very midst of the holiday season. It never hurts to double check when games are going to be available for purchase. Don’t forget to actually pick up the game as soon as it comes out! They won’t be held forever!

There are other oddities and details that can put a wrinkle in your holiday shopping adventures when it comes to gaming, but these are what I feel are the most common aspects that may confuse people. Happy shopping, and may the store’s inventory be in your favor.



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