Redbox Launches $2 Video Game Rentals


Late last year, our very own Davis Freeberg lamented the lack of a Redbox video game rental kiosk. Hope was renewed this spring when Redbox announced they’d begin testing combo DVD+gaming kiosks and postal mail game rental-co Gamefly launched a self-service machine at Texas Tech University. Now, as the Inside Redbox blog learned, Redbox’s long awaited video game inventory rollout has begun. And it looks like Reno is one of the first markets to offer video games.

PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PS2 rentals run $2/nt which isn’t super competitive with Blockbuster’s rental fees – which is about $9 for 5 nights. And inventory seems limited (13 Xbox 360 games listed). However, the convenience factor could be huge. Not to mention, some (me) often use game rentals as a trial to determine which titles I’m going to need to purchase. However, I’m not yet convinced this model will fly. While games and movies utilize the same flat optical media, usage patterns and demographics differ.

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9 thoughts on “Redbox Launches $2 Video Game Rentals”

  1. So Redbox just buys a bunch of DVDs from Sam’s Club and puts them in their kiosks for rent?

    “20th Century Fox has ordered distributors to stop providing Redbox with new DVD releases, joining Universal in its attempt to prop up its ailing DVD business. Redbox is awaiting a ruling on its lawsuit against the studios over what the rental firm describes as their anti-competitive practices…

    Fox, which has never entered into an agreement directly with Redbox, has ordered its wholesalers not to sell its DVDs to Redbox until 30 days after release. The move reflects the movie industry’s fear and loathing of this new DVD rental market, reducing people’s visits to places like Blockbuster and reducing the studios’ ability to try and sell DVDs to customers.

    …Redbox is jointly owned by Coinstar and a subsidiary of McDonalds.”

  2. Awesome! $2 is a great deal especially if you’re on the fence about buying a video game. After you’ve tried the game and enjoyed it and have plans of playing it for a longer period, I think it’ll be practical to purchase the game rather just rent.

  3. I’d love to have one of these within walking distance. I rarely have 5 straight nights to play a Blockbuster rental. I typically play on weekends. I’d love the ability to pop $2 into a machine each night I wanted to play a game.

    However, as Dave mentioned, selection will be key. And, in any event, this is a short term business. The next console cycle may very well eliminate physical disk based games. The 360 now allows for full video game purchases online. At present this is limited to older games. I suspect in a year or two it will be full games. With the next console cycle, the whole concept of physical disks to play games could be history.

    But, enjoy it while it lasts my American friends. It’s yet another service not availalble in Canada. Grrr!


  4. Hmm…I can’t decide whether I like this idea or not. On one hand, I like that I have the option to try out a game before buying it; on the other hand, I don’t remember the last time I bought a game that I hadn’t already researched on the interwebs enough to know that I’d like it enough to warrant a purchase. I must be in the wrong demographic for this one.

  5. i wonder if Sony Playstation plans to sell Redbox directly like Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has???

    Seems like a waste of RB’s efforts with game downloads the future anyway…. who needs a disc???

  6. I agree with the Blu-ray discs. That would be nice. Although they would probably only add one copy in blu-ray and you would never be able to find it. I like the idea of renting a game for $2.00 for one night just to try it out and see if it’s a full rental, purchase, or just not play it again.

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