Netflix has been staunch in its belief that getting into the game rental business is something simply not worth the company's investments. After all, when you're spending $100 million on Mad Men streaming rights, I guess it's just not worth it to invest in a new infrastructure that could potentially be another huge source of revenue and likely send GameFly, with its perpetually sluggish mailing times, running screaming for the hills.
Don't tell that to Red Box, though, as they've just entered that supposedly irrelevant world of "video games" with a new rental service. Yes, that other movie rental automaton with the big red logo--this being the one with all the supermarket kiosks, mind you--plans to finally break away from its long-standing policy of just doing whatever Netflix already does--albeit years after the fact and less conveniently--and officially launch its brand-new game rental service at 21,000 Red Box locations starting tomorrow. Rentals will go for $2 a pop, and those with the Red Box iOS app can use it to reserve games ahead of time. Some of the games you'll be able to rent as of tomorrow include:
- Brink (PS3, X360)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, X360, Wii)
- Duke Nukem Forever (PS3, X360)
- Family Party: 30 Great Games (Wii)
- Infamous 2 (PS3)
- Just Dance 2 (Wii)
- LA Noire (PS3)
- Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (X360, Wii)
- Michael Jackson: The Experience (Wii)
- Red Faction: Armageddon (PS3, X360)
- Rio (Wii)
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PS3, X360, Wii)
- You Don’t Know Jack (X360)
It's interesting that the Xbox 360 version of LA Noire isn't on the list, though that might specifically have to do with that version of the game's multi-disc packaging. Might be tough for one of those kiosks to spit out four discs in one package.
At this point, I can safely say I know exactly no one with a GameFly subscription, though I know plenty of people who rely on demos to help them make purchasing decisions. Given Red Box's relative convenience, I must ask, is this something you'd find yourself using on the regular when it came to checking out new games you might be on the fence about?
Granted, this really only applies for the next couple of weeks, until a sweaty, red-faced Netflix executive angrily announces that they've spent $100 billion for the exclusive distribution rights to video games. Like, all of them. Because that'll show those kiosk-loving interlopers what's what.