Redbox, an American company that specializes in the rental of movies via vending machines, has announced it will offer video game rentals at more than 21,000 Redbox locations in the US, starting on June 17, 2011. Top video games will go for only $2 a day, complementing Redbox's current $1 DVD and $1.50 Blu-ray daily rental prices.
In August 2009, Redbox began testing video game rentals alongside movies at 5,000 Redbox locations in select US markets. Redbox trialed its system in Reno, Nevada, Orlando, Florida, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Austin, Texas, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Corvallis, Oregon. Apparently it was enough of a success for the company to decide to move into the video game market.
Unfortunately, Redbox is only offering video game rentals for consoles at launch (that's right: no PC or Mac games). The company will feature games across the three major console platforms: the Nintendo Wii, the Microsoft Xbox 360, and the Sony PlayStation 3. Video game titles will range from top releases to popular family and kids titles. As its reasoning for entering the video game rental market, Redbox cited a Q4 2010 survey from Interpret New Media Measure that said 64 percent of people in the US own a game console.
The trouble with renting video games over movies is that the consumer will likely require longer than 24 hours for the rental. Still, $2 is a very reasonable price for a day of gaming and it would still be very cheap to rent a game for a weekend or even a whole week.
"Redbox will increase consumers' access to video game rentals by leveraging our incredible technology and business model to keep rental prices low for consumers," said Mitch Lowe, president of Redbox. "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. Redbox has rented more than one million video games in less than two years at these locations, underscoring the popularity of video game play in America."