With many new releases priced upwards of $50, gamers often hesitate to take the plunge. That fear is exacerbated by the increasing rarity of demos, so players don't really know what they're buying until it's too late. This leaves folks with a few options: they can pirate the full game in a matter of hours, seek a second-hand copy (this is less of an option for PC titles), or wait months/years for some type of price reduction.
None of those situations are ideal for obvious reasons and Direct2Drive may have a solid solution
. The game dealer has launched a rental service that lets gamers buy five hours of play for $5. That's enough time to gauge your interest in a game and cheap enough to negate buyer's remorse. What's more, if you decide to purchase the title after five hours, the initial $5 rental charge is applied toward the game's total price.
The current rental catalog is pretty limited with only Silent Hill: Homecoming, Grid, and Divinity II available, but Direct2Drive plans to expand that selection in the near future. There's no word on what titles will be added, but the company probably wants to test the waters before jumping in with both feet. How successful do you think the service will be? Would you pay $5 to test a game before eating the full retail price?