Gamers can now rent video games locally at all hours of the day and night.
Redbox, the stand-alone kiosks at local retailers most known for their dollar-a-night movie rentals, now offer video games. Games cost $2 a day and can be reserved online for easy pickup at the nearest Redbox location.
Top new releases are available for rental, along with popular family and children’s games. A complete list of available titles is available online, available for PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. Each of the company’s kiosks will carry anywhere from 22 to 28 different gaming titles, but there’s no indication as to how often the selection of games will shift around.
Redbox officials said the company began testing video game rentals at 5,000 locations across the country in August 2009. During that time, officials said, more than 1 million games were rented, proving that the customer demand was there as nearly 64 percent of Americans own at least one gaming console. “With more than 21,000 Redbox locations slated to feature video game rentals alongside movies this June, Redbox will be the one-stop shop for entertainment,” company President Mitch Lowe said in a written statement.
Buying any game is a gamble. You can use reviews and recommendations to make more intelligent purchasing decisions, but ultimately, you might spend $60 and hate the game, or you might spend $60 and love the game so much that you basically complete it in a weekend. Either way, you are basically out the $60. However using the $2/day method and their limit of 25 days unreturned, you end up saving $10 on your games. After those 3-and-a-half weeks, you get to keep the rental game, after which time Redbox will dispatch the software disc’s accompanying box and instruction manual.
Amazon announced earlier that it’s allowing free movie streaming to its Amazon Prime members — those who pay $79 yearly for free 2-day shipping on qualified purchases. I mentioned last week on Redbox looking for a streaming partner. Do you think this is more or less likely the two hook up?
The initiative pits Amazon head-to-head with Netflix, which charges $7.99 a month for similarly unlimited streaming. The Amazon offering works out to $6.58 a month, and the shipping discounts remain the same. The discounts alone were enough to convince an estimated 4 million people to sign on to Amazon Prime, while Netflix has 20 million subscribers to its DVD and streaming business.
This means Amazon wins on price. However, their library is how large? As reported, 5000 movies and TV shows. Let’s compare that to Netflix, who now offers 11,563 streaming titles, including 1,587 TV show seasons and compilations, not episodes. If you want to be remove the ambiguity of TV shows and look at movies alone, that means they offer six times more titles than Amazon.
Also, Netflix has more hardware support. Everything that supports Amazon, also has Netflix built in. However Netflix also controls the gaming console network, with the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and Ninteno Wii.; plus your Iphones / iPads / iPods, and plenty of internet-ready televisions and Bluray players with Netflix applications built in.
This is something I meant to post on a few days ago. Oops. :)
In a meeting with analysts, Redbox President Mitch Lowe reaffirmed the Coinstar-owned company’s plans to launch a Netflix “Watch Instantly” competitor this year. Coinstar CEO Paul Davis first confirmed the forthcoming service last year during an earnings call, though he would not specify whether the company’s Internet streaming service would utilize an all-you-can-eat pricing model or and a la carte model. Lowe has now confirmed that the service will be subscription-based, but he did not indicate price points for the service.
Redbox still has not revealed a partner for its upcoming streaming service, though rumors suggest Amazon may be the most likely candidate. Amazon already has some streaming-ready content, and this could be a nice pickup for both companies, and actually place a worthy competitor against Netflix (which I have nothing against, mind you).