There's little doubt that media buying is changing. iTunes
is selling more and more singles while physical disc sales dwindle. GameStop is hiring executives
to manage digital aspects of business. And Redbox
is dabbling in video games after years of sticking to DVDs and Blu-ray Discs alone.
You heard that right--the famous red box that somehow manages to steal a dollar or two each time your visit the supermarket is about to snag even more from your thinning wallet. Starting in Reno, Nevada, Redbox is evidently planning to fire up a test run on video game sales, using the same basic principles that folks are now used to with its DVD boxes. You just pop $2 in (versus $1 for movies), select your video game title and enjoy it for 24 hours.
But as Zatz Not Funny points out, we too aren't sure if this business model will thrive. If you know you're having a movie night, a 24 hour DVD rental is plenty long. But how often do you really want to have a video game in your home for just a day? Most games take a number of hours just to really get the storyline, let alone the control scheme. And if you're just curious to know whether or not it's worth a purchase, most consoles allow you to download game demos for no charge.
So, who really is interested in renting a video game for 24 hours? We suspect that's the proverbial $64,000 question, but it looks like Redbox is willing to spend the cash to find out. At least initially, it looks like selections will be limited on the video game front, and we still find it plausible to think that the company will expand video game rentals to two or three days for marginally more money. So long as it undercuts Blockbuster, it'll be a winner; GameFly really can't compete on this front, as it can't provide instant gratification the same way a nearby Redbox can.
So, if you're a gamer--would you rent any games from a Redbox kiosk for $2 per night? What about $2 for two nights? Not under any circumstances?