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Walmart will match competitors' Black Friday prices starting today (+video)

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Reuters/John Gress/files

(Read caption) Shopping carts are seen outside a Walmart Express store in Chicago. World's largest retailer offers some of the best deals for Black Friday shopping and this year's deals are officially out in the wild.

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Walmart has posted the circular for this pre-Black Friday sale, which you can find here. (Click the "Pre-Black Friday" button on the bottom right to load an ad for your local store.) As it turns out, the retailer has indeed zeroed in on Target's doorbuster TV deal, offering a 40" LCD HDTV for $115, or $4 under Target's Black Friday ad. No brand is mentioned, although we're fairly certain that it will similarly be from an off-brand manufacturer like Element. Walmart also doesn't note the resolution; Target's deal will have a 1080p screen, and there's a chance that Walmart's will be just 720p. If you're interested in this early offer, pay attention to this spec.

Also of note, Walmart will release its PlayStation 4 deal, which comes with a $50 gift card, early. If you're not keen on the bundled video games in other deals, then this is probably the better offer for you. (Check out all the top gaming ads here.) Walmart is also knocking two unspecified LG and Sony 60" Smart TVs to $648, which is $78 under our prediction for a name-brand set of this size. However, keep in mind that Walmart itself will also offer a bigger 65" Vizio for the same price next week.

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These deals will be valid starting tomorrow in-store only and will, in theory, run through November 27. (We're skeptical that the 40" TV will last that long though.)

Recommended:Black Friday 2014: Your complete step-by-step guide

Walmart announced today that it will once again offer a "Pre-Black Friday Event" in which it will match the prices of various items found in competitor ads. Last year, the scheme seemed a bit more marketing than genuine value, but it might be a far more notable event in 2014.

Last year, Walmart offered no details whatsoever about what items this "early price matching" event included; a shopper had to visit the store to find out what was eligible, which led us to believe that it perhaps didn't entail the more noteworthy deals from competitor ads.

However, this time around, Walmart gave us some hints about what will be included, and the store will announce the specific items and prices tomorrow on Walmart.com, to be purchased starting on Friday, November 21. It's unclear if the prices will only be announced online, or if they will also be available to purchase online, but we suspect it might require an in-store visit.

Will Walmart Match Doorbuster Prices?

What really made us do a double take though is the fact that these early price matched deals will reportedly include a 40" LED HDTV, 60" TVs from LG and Sony, and a PlayStation 4. Those descriptions certainly lack enough detail to be certain which ads they are competing with, but there's reason to hope that they might match some notable offers we've already seen from other retailers.

Keep an Eye on the TVs

For example, one of the hottest deals of the season will be Target's Element 40" TV for $119, and it's possible that Walmart is aiming to match that price, if only on a similar model. That would be the best price ever for such a TV.

Moreover, hhgregg is offering an LG 60" plasma TV for $488, which blows away our prediction for 60" plasmas by $71 and makes it the cheapest 60" 1080p plasma we've ever seen. Could Walmart be matching this deal as well? (As far as the 60" Sony goes, we didn't see any ads thus far that knocked such a TV to an especially notable price, so we're less excited about that.)

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As for that PlayStation 4 deal, Walmart already announced that it will sell the console for $399 with a $50 gift card, which we actually thought was one of the best offers for the PS4 that we've seen so far. Other stores are bundling the console for the same price with brand-new video games, so we suppose Walmart might go that route instead during this pre-event. In that case, you might want to hold out for the gift card deal, if the titles don't strike your fancy.

Details Will Emerge on Thursday

We'll know for sure what Walmart is price matching starting tomorrow, and deals will be available to buy on Friday. The selection of items will also include a Canon wireless printer, Keurig K-40 machine, KitchenAid stand mixer, and some LEGO sets.

Readers, did any of you shop this pre-Black Friday event at Walmart last year? Did you find anything worthwhile? Consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to get a daily recap of all our deals. You can also download the DealNews apps, check out the latest Black Friday ads, or read more buying advice.

Lindsay Sakraida is the features director for DealNews.com, where this article first appeared.