By Jared Newman | Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 3:24 pm
Video games seem like a natural way for Redbox to grow, so I wasn’t surprised when the kiosk operator started testing video game rentals last year. According to Variety, Redbox will soon expand video game rentals to “a few thousand” of its 24,000 kiosks, across 40 markets.
But Redbox isn’t going all in just yet. The company is still deliberating whether to take video game rentals nationwide, and hopes to get a better sense of customer interest by adding games to more kiosks.
Like the GameFly’s G-Boxes, which have appeared in very limited numbers, Redbox game rentals costs $2 per night. Redbox’s website shows just over 40 games available, mainly for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii, and some of them are pretty recent, like Medal of Honor and NBA Jam, which were released this week and last week, respectively.
My feelings about video game rental kiosks are unchanged since I tried the GameFly G-Box last year. While games are more expensive to purchase than movies, the $2 charge per night is hard to justify. Unlike movies, you can’t simply spend an evening with a game and be done with it, so $2 nightly rentals only makes sense if you can plow through a game quickly, or if you just want to try for a day before buying.
As Redbox continues to test games in its kiosks, I hope it considers discounts for weekly rentals, or lower prices overall. Otherwise, Gamefly’s mail-order rentals, which start at $16 per month, are more economical. But if you want to try it, Redbox’s website lets you search for kiosks by zip code and will notify you when games become available in your area. The expansion should happen in a few weeks.