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Friday, August 12, 2022

The weekend’s best deals: Steam Summer Sale, Apple Back to School promo, and more

Ars Technica

It’s the weekend, which means the time has come for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best tech deals from around the web is particularly heavy on video games, as Steam’s annual Summer Sale kicked off earlier this week. The PC gaming storefront’s latest mega-sale runs until July 7 and, as is often the case, includes thousands of discounts on games that span across genres and eras.

There’s a good chance you’re already sitting on an unwieldy backlog of games you’ve picked up from past sales, but if you’re still looking for something new to play, we’ve dug through the avalanche of offers to curate a list of the best genuine discounts we think the Summer Sale is running. We’ve laid out more than 60 deals on Ars favorites below, and while not every pick is at the absolute lowest price we’ve tracked, all of them are going for notably less than the street prices we’ve seen from the major storefronts over the past several months. (And for any games not on our list, price-tracking tools like IsThereAnyDeal are useful for ensuring that the “bargain” you’re eyeing is actually a bargain.) If you prefer not to use Steam, we’ve also noted other PC game stores where these prices are available.

The highlights include past Ars Game of the Year winners like Hades (down to $15), Celeste ($5), and Psychonauts 2 ($30), plus well-reviewed 2022 games like the meta comedy The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe ($17) and the breezy LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga ($37). Many of the lesser-publicized gems we’ve highlighted during past Summer Sales are deeply discounted once again, while bigger-name hits like the co-op adventure It Takes Two ($16) and the tense VR shooter Half-Life Alyx ($30) are back down to the best prices we’ve seen on PC. Steam sales are often a good time to grab some older titles that still hold up as well, and this time, classics like the roguelite Spelunky ($1.49), the co-op puzzler Portal 2 ($2), and the bonkers hack-and-slasher Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ($7), among others, are all down to single-digit prices. Valve has a bundle that includes more than 20 of its own hits available for $13, too.

There are plenty more worthwhile deals beyond those, and with Nintendo’s eShop commencing its own “Super Sale” this week, our roundup includes several handpicked discounts for Switch owners as well. If you can’t bear the thought of stuffing your gaming backlog any further, though, the Dealmaster still has lower-than-usual prices on recommended tech like the Apple Watch SE and Series 7, laptops from Asus and Gigabyte, and LG OLED TVs. We also have falling prices on GPUs and the start of Apple’s annual Back to School promotion, which this year is bundling Apple gift cards with select Macs and iPads for students, parents of students, and higher education staff. You can find our full curated list of deals below.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Featured deals of the day

If you've invested in a VR setup, the horror-shooter <em>Half-Life: Alyx</em> is <a href="https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/03/half-life-alyx-review-the-greatest-vr-adventure-game-yet-and-then-some/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">well worth a go</a>.
Enlarge / If you’ve invested in a VR setup, the horror-shooter Half-Life: Alyx is well worth a go.

Valve

Best deals of Steam Summer Sale 2022

<em>The </em><em>Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe </em>is an expanded edition of the <a href=
Enlarge / The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is an expanded edition of the meta-obsessed comedy from 2013.

Crows Crows Crows

Its not hugely discounted, but the 2D beat-'em-up <em>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge </em>only launched last week. Our <a href="https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2022/06/review-tmnt-shredders-revenge-is-a-must-play-arcade-throwback/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">review called it</a> a "must-play arcade throwback." Note that it comes with Xbox Game Pass, though.
Enlarge / Its not hugely discounted, but the 2D beat-’em-up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge only launched last week. Our review called it a “must-play arcade throwback.” Note that it comes with Xbox Game Pass, though.

Dotemu / Tribute Games

<em>Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance</em> is a fast-paced hack-and-slasher that's equally thrilling and bonkers.
Enlarge / Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a fast-paced hack-and-slasher that’s equally thrilling and bonkers.

Konami

<em>Sonic Mania </em>is <a href="https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/08/sonic-mania-review-a-rich-return-to-16-bit-form-despite-potholes/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">one of the better entries</a> in the blue hedgehog's library, blending new level designs and a fun soundtrack with faithful homages to classic <em>Sonic </em>games.
Enlarge / Sonic Mania is one of the better entries in the blue hedgehog’s library, blending new level designs and a fun soundtrack with faithful homages to classic Sonic games.
We named the stylish roguelite <em>Hades</em> our <a href=
Enlarge / We named the stylish roguelite Hades our Game of the Year in 2020.

Supergiant Games

Other video game deals

<em>Chicory: A Colorful Tale </em>is a chill, relatively low-stakes adventure game about painting color back into a blank world.
Enlarge / Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a chill, relatively low-stakes adventure game about painting color back into a blank world.

Finji

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the top pick in our guide to <a href=
Enlarge / The Apple Watch Series 7 is the top pick in our guide to the best smartwatches.

Corey Gaskin

Electronics deals

The Sonos One SL is as smooth-sounding as the <a href=
Enlarge / The Sonos One SL is as smooth-sounding as the standard Sonos One; it just lacks built-in mics for voice control.

Laptop and desktop PC deals

A <a href=
Enlarge / A drastically refreshed MacBook Air is arriving soon, but the older M1-based model will stick around for those who want to pay less for what remains a great everyday notebook.

Lee Hutchinson

<em>The Fox in the Forest</em> is a card game <a href=
Enlarge / The Fox in the Forest is a card game we recommend for two-player game nights.

Gaming accessory deals

Xbox Series S (left), next to Xbox Series X (right). The former isn't designed for 4K gaming and lacks a disc drive, but costs $200 less.
Enlarge / Xbox Series S (left), next to Xbox Series X (right). The former isn’t designed for 4K gaming and lacks a disc drive, but costs $200 less.

Sam Machkovech

Accessories and miscellaneous deals

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