Redbox Kiosk Game Rentals Launch Nationwide

Dave Zatz —  June 17, 2011

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After nearly two years of regional testing, Redbox kiosks nationwide are now offering $2/night video game rentals in addition to DVD and Blu-ray discs. Because it’s getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot, I instead swung by my local Harris Teeter this AM to check it out. Initially, it seemed as though Redbox might have a fairly large and comprehensive selection of relatively new release titles. But, upon closer inspection, this particular unit is only offering 16 games – pretty evenly distributed by platform. (5 Xbox, 5 PS3, 6 Wii) I could definitely see myself using the Redbox service to blast through shorter titles ($8 – $12 vs $60) or to preview longer and more replayable ones prior to making a purchase. Yet, L.A. Noire is only available on the PS3. So I’m hanging onto my two bucks today.

9 responses to Redbox Kiosk Game Rentals Launch Nationwide

  1. I was just educated on Twitter. L.A. Noire on the 360 is *3* discs. Hm. Wonder how/if Gamefly handles issues like that? I suspect they may be more accommodating to multiple discs.

  2. Are there really any games that can justify a one-night rental?

    Seems to be the missing piece of “common sense” here — I’m surprised it’s not more like $5 for a 3-night rental, or something like that.

  3. Who cares if they don’t justify a one night rental? Consider it a 2-night $4 rental.

    That said, I know a lot of people who plow through games in a day or less, or sometimes you want to pick something up just to play multiplayer once.

    Dave, what surprises me is the UI on that Redbox, ours switched to something completely different a couple of weeks ago.

  4. Hm, interesting. We’ve got so many Redboxes in our area maybe I’ll hit another to look for that new UI. Although, if it’s rolled out regionally all of ours may feature this one.

  5. L.A. Noire is better on PS3 and not just because of using just one disc; PS3 version has an exclusive case not available on 360. Since I have both systems, I decide which version to get based on extra content (if there are no show-stopping bugs on one of the versions).

    Dave — how come you just can’t hold onto a PS3? You keep buying and flipping them, isn’t that a hassle?

    P.S. Amazon had Gold Box deal on a PS3 for $199 yesterday.

  6. I was lucky to be located in one of the original test cities (Reno) and the UI hasn’t changed that much. Ya there isn’t much utility in game rentals for only a night or two but I can say batman arkham asylum was perfect for a couple of 1 day rentals when I had some free time. Ended up beating the game I think in 3-4 rentals over a couple of months.
    I’ve notice that games tend to migrate around town though. Once the only copy of a game I wanted to pay was located across town.
    As Dave observed they sadly don’t stock many games hopefully since they have gone national they will have agreements with publishers to get discounts or stock older titles for maybe a dollar.
    We’ll see

  7. Ivan, yes flipping is a ridiculous waste of time and ultimately costs me money since I end up with both platforms anyway. I missed the Gold Box yesterday, but Best Buy has buy a PS3 for $300 and get a $100 gift card deal going on. Hm. :)

  8. Dave — BB deal sounds good. If you do want L.A. Noire, BB actually will have it on sale for $39.99 from 6/19-6/25. One stop shopping :)

    Anyway, Redbox rentals might be good for short games or people who can blow through a game in a few days, but their business model is being negated by the fact that a game’s price drops like a stone.

    First of all, almost no games are pre-sold for full price; there are always $10-20 off cards/discount on future purchases. Then, after a release, prices plummet way too quickly. So it’s not unreasonable to expect to pay only $30-$40 for a game that’s been out for a short while.

    Other than some sort a super-rare title, don’t think we’ll see a repeat of Uncharted 1 on PS3. That game refused to go down in price until UC2. IIRC, I paid $40+ for a used copy.

  9. To my mind, it’s worthwhile just as an opportunity to preview a game — if you’re thinking about buying it, you’ll know in an evening whether you want to plunk down the cash.

    Their online locator is pretty useful, and of course you can return to any machine.