Finally! It's the time of year once more when Americans line up outside of major retail outlets at absurdly early hours in an effort to score the lowest prices on all manner of consumer goods. Looking for a washer/dryer on the cheap? How about a Samsung Galaxy Note 4? Or how about a new TV for Aunt Linda? She could probably use a new TV. Black Friday -- and, increasingly, the days and weeks surrounding it -- may be your best chance at finding a great deal. And you probably don't have to leave the house!

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Black Friday shopping in 2013

Yes, it's once more time for Black Friday -- that beloved (and sometimes dreaded) day when you can brave crowded stores in hopes of scoring deals on gadgets that would otherwise be out of your reach. But who's offering the sweetest bargains? Never fear: we've rounded up some of the better sales you'll find on or around November 28th, including some pretty hefty discounts on 4K TVs, game consoles and phones. Check out the gallery bellow to browse by store and see which shops are worth visiting, and let your fellow shoppers know if you've spotted any other great offers in the comments.

[Image credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images]

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Allow me to begin with my very best Andy Rooney impersonation: When I was growing up, there was no such thing as a "day one patch." I went to Video Station on Saturday with my parents -- if I was lucky -- and came home with a single rented game for the weekend. James Pond or Bubsy the Bobcat or Blast Corps or whatever. Maybe I'd have to blow out the cart, or erase the last renter's save file before playing whatever game I rented.

Let's imagine a similar scenario today: You go to a Redbox kiosk or GameFly mails you a disc for your Modern GameBox™. Upon inserting said disc, your GameBox turns on and begins installing the game. The wait begins. It's now several percentage points in and ready to start running. You hit the button. "An update is required to play this game." This is when you take a moment to swear under your breath. This is "the future"?

Now imagine your next step is finding out that multiplayer is broken, or that the game won't load, or that it barely runs. You've got our current situation.

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4K, gaming, and a tale of two monitors

Unlike most gadgets and peripherals, our computer monitors tend to stay with us for a good chunk of time. My current 23-incher has been with me since the days of my Palm Centro. So when it comes to shopping for a new display, it certainly pays to know what you want out of it. Are you heavily into gaming and need a monitor with crazy-high refresh rates? Would you rather have as big a screen as possible for all those windows you have open every day? I recently spent a month with two of AOC's latest models: a 24-incher with NVIDIA G-Sync support for serious gaming, and a 4K 28-inch display that puts a premium on pixels. Could either one convince me to let go of my trusty Viewsonic?

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Chores are the bane of domesticity. Dull and repetitive tasks have already been farmed out to robots in industrial workplaces, so why not our homes, too? On a small scale, they've already arrived, just not quite in the way film and TV promised. For this week's Rewind, we take a look at some of the highlights in the history of robotic servants.

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It's that time of year again! You know, the one when you have to hand over your hard-earned cash or dole out the credit card digits to get the loved ones in your life a little something celebratory. Lucky you, we've got a slew of great recommendations in our easy-on-the-eyes Holiday Gift Guide.

Need something for that special someone who just really, really wants to fly a drone? Then consider this: DJI's Phantom 2 Vision+ quite literally puts the power of an unmanned aerial vehicle in your hobbyist hands -- you can set waypoints with a smartphone or tablet. Best of all, there's no assembly required and you can even capture HD video memories from up above with that onboard camera.

And that's just a taste of what our gift guide has to offer. Dive in here for the full monty!

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What is Super Smash Bros.? It is Nintendo at its most referential, its most detail-oriented. We already said all this once before, actually. Right here. Anyway, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (that's seriously the full title) has finally arrived on Nintendo's home console. You can play it right now! So that's just what we're going to do. Today! For about two hours!

The stream starts at 2PM ET/11AM PT sharp, and can be found below. Follow Engadget on Twitch to be notified when we go live!

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"Who would win in a fight?" is the lighthearted crux of the Super Smash Bros. series, and it's impressive how extensive that conversation has become. Pitting beloved video game characters in unlikely rivalries seems as amusing as it did during the series' 1999 debut, especially when it involves a mix of iconic faces and left-field picks. With fresh contenders, several new competition types and a lite resemblance of Pokémon training in the form of Amiibos, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a meaty talking point that proves the "Who's the best?" debate is still well worth having.

Smash's bouts remain layered –- newcomers can focus on throwing basic attacks by combining button presses with tilts of the joystick, learning deep-cut mastery of evasions and timing in-air knockouts as they add matches to their career. Whatever nuances your play style adopts, everyone's victory involves launching opponents from shared platforms, heaping damage on them to make banishing them to the oblivion beyond the screen's edges more feasible.

Click here for the full review!

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing

It is the height of the Second World War. A group of codebreakers stands in a dimly lit warehouse 50 miles northwest of London, a giant machine composed of spinning drums and wires looms in front of them. It's taken years of work -- as well as a few shouting matches -- to get the device assembled and ready to start sorting through 159 quintillion combinations in search of the one that will let the British crack the Germans' infamous Enigma machine. The switch is flipped and nine rows of drums begin spinning as the assembled group waits... and waits. It takes a while to go through each combination, and staring at the device has all the excitement of watching laundry spin in a dryer. Frustration quickly sets in and tensions mount, because for the team in The Imitation Game, guns and tanks are not the weapons they fear. Their enemy is time.

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