New GameStop rental scheme lets you play unlimited number of pre-owned games

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Those of a certain age may have fond memories of renting VHS tapes from Blockbuster. In the stores’ later years, modern technology made its way into the outlets. Not only did members have access to DVDs, but they could also play video games without buying them. Now, GameStop is introducing a scheme that sees the return of renting physical games direct from an outlet.

The new service is called PowerPass. Working in a different way to previous physical game rental schemes, it costs $60 for a six-month subscription, during which time you can rent any of GameStop's pre-owned library. There’s no time limit for holding onto a game, and you can play as many as you like during the six months. Basically, keep a title until you manage to complete it, or get bored, then hand it back in for a new one. The only slight caveat is that you’re restricted to renting one at a time.

The most compelling part of PowerPass is that once the six months are up, you can choose one game to keep.

In order to keep track of what has been rented, the service is only available to GameStop's Power-Up Rewards members, though it’s open to those on both the free and paid-for tiers. Additionally, you’re limited to the pre-owned games available in physical stores, not GameStop’s online library.

The introduction of PowerPass looks like a necessary move for GameStop. Disappointing holiday sales saw it close 150 retail stores in March, and with more people turning to digital stores for their gaming needs, this could help keep the company afloat.

The PowerPass program starts on November 19.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Yeah, I noticed that at two of their stores there .... coincidence? Naaaaaa but the legal question would be does THAT qualify as bait and switch? My guess is that unless they try to steer you to another game to buy it probably would not. Anyone else have thoughts on what's going on?
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
60 bucks for 6 months doesn't sound all that clever to me considering you can pick up older titles for a helluva lot less and own the copies outright.
 
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Reehahs

TS Guru
But you must remember that those are most likely console games they rent. Not using a console, I don't know if console game retail prices drop as low as a proper gaming platform (PC) ever prices do.
Unfortunately, PC games have no resale value which is why I prefer not to buy them at full price and never pre-order (Witcher 3 being the only game I ever bought on pre-order due to the developer). Buying PC games either involves waiting for sale since regardless of age some sites never discount them properly.

Console games on the other hand have vibrant second hand market and the price gets reduced regularly. The exception are those that involve online play (EA/Ubisoft) requiring additional spending to access online content by paying more.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Unfortunately, PC games have no resale value which is why I prefer not to buy them at full price and never pre-order (Witcher 3 being the only game I ever bought on pre-order due to the developer). Buying PC games either involves waiting for sale since regardless of age some sites never discount them properly.

Console games on the other hand have vibrant second hand market and the price gets reduced regularly. The exception are those that involve online play (EA/Ubisoft) requiring additional spending to access online content by paying more.
I think that once you own a (legit) copy of a PC game and activated the key, it's yours, forever, whether you like it or not. I could be mistaken though.
 
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roberthi

TS Addict
What GameStop? No PC games you say? Haven't had them for years, you say? Consoles are thriving and PC's are dead you say?

Oh, OK...well bye.

Plus, Redbox has been doing this for years.