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Redbox Brings Video Game Rentals To Vending Machines 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-your-eight-year-old-can-play-duke-nukem-forever dept.
For several years, Redbox has been in the business of renting movies through vending machines. Now, they've expanded the service to include video games for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. "Redbox vending machines are situated in over 21,000 different places across the US, and games will now be available for rent for $2 a day via these machines. Users are also able to reserve games online via the Redbox website, and then pick titles up from a machine later on. Although the catalog is currently limited, a number of newly released titles are available from the machines, including LA Noire, Infamous 2 and Red Faction: Armageddon."
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Redbox Brings Video Game Rentals To Vending Machines

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  • ...how do I rent the controllers for Rock Band?

    • ...how do I rent the controllers for Rock Band?

      More importantly, how do I rent Steel Battalion [wikipedia.org] and it's peripherals?!?

  • by Toonol (1057698) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:47PM (#36480302)
    It's not a bad service. All the local machines seem to be stock about 75% PS3 games, though; I'm not sure if that's because they stock a lot of them because of high demand, or that they're left in stock because of low demand.

    At $2 per day, though, you don't want to rent it for more than a few days. That's fine for some games, insufficient for others. I wouldn't mind spending $2 just to play a little bit of Duke Nukem Forever, for instance. I wouldn't rent a long RPG or sandbox game, though.
    • by Scutter (18425) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:52PM (#36480350) Journal

      At $2 per day, though, you don't want to rent it for more than a few days. That's fine for some games, insufficient for others. I wouldn't mind spending $2 just to play a little bit of Duke Nukem Forever, for instance. I wouldn't rent a long RPG or sandbox game, though.

      No, but it's a fantastic way to try-before-you-buy. I am sick to death of buying $50-$60 games only to get burned on them. I'll happily pay two bucks to see if it's worth buying my own copy.

      • No, but it's a fantastic way to try-before-you-buy. I am sick to death of buying $50-$60 games only to get burned on them. I'll happily pay two bucks to see if it's worth buying my own copy.

        You know there is a recent intriguing invention to help you decide before buying. I think they're called "reviews." :-P

        I refuse to buy any game new that doesn't have a green rating on metacritic. If a game isn't a sequel to a game I've already played and enjoyed, I either play the demo, borrow it from a friend, or wait until I can get it for less (either used or reduced price on steam.)

        More tools to make that decision are of course good, but I don't see anything wrong with the free alternatives ou

        • A reviewer isn't me.

          Some may argue that reviewers are prone to bribes, ignore that concept for now.

          I love many games most people don't and hate certain "popular" games. Not to mention playing something yourself is guaranteed to give you a much much better impression of what a game is like than reading someone elses opinion on it..

        • by Adriax (746043)

          I have never trusted reviews, and the recent duke forever launch just reaffirmed my views.
          Almost everything I've read says it's a terrible game, not even worth the $5 bin. When I actually tried it myself, I liked it, a lot. I'm not too fond of the 2-weapon system enforcing ammo scarcity, or the ego system that makes duke a real pussy in the health department, but the game is fun enough to make me want to keep playing it.
          Though I do hope they either patch that crap out and give us a real health/weapon system

        • by qzjul (944600)
          I thought the way to try-before-you-buy was to download a cracked copy via some torrent....
      • by Ryunosuke (576755)

        I wouldn't rent a long RPG or sandbox game, though.

        No, but it's a fantastic way to try-before-you-buy. I am sick to death of buying $50-$60 games only to get burned on them. I'll happily pay two bucks to see if it's worth buying my own copy.

        Agreed. But then again, most people who would enjoy rpgs aren't using Redbox anyway. So it's a win-win for anyone sick of $60 console games that only have 5 hours of gameplay.

      • I was thinking it's a fantastic way for the people with hacked PS3s to rip copies of games using backup managers rather than risk downloading torrents.

        $2 for a 100% pristine rip of a game sounds like a pretty good deal...

        • It's also much faster to visit a Redbox machine than try to download a 25GB ISO.

        • by adolf (21054)

          I was thinking it's a fantastic way for the people with hacked PS3s to rip copies of games using backup managers rather than risk downloading torrents.

          Yep. It's just like the old Xbox, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast days, except riddled with DLC stuff that only works for the original purchaser.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Depending upon your gaming habits it's not that much more expensive. Around here it literally takes a week minimum to get your next game. So, around here you have to keep your games for an average of at least 2 days before gamefly becomes the better deal.

      Gamefly is a real rip off around here. I'm guessing that for most people, it's a much better deal. But, they still haven't built a warehouse to service the Northwest. They could at least give us a discount, but as it is they're overcharging us.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Apparently, they have finally added a warehouse to service this region. That's what I get for not double checking it. Never mind about that then.

    • Our local boxes put on "Coming Soon" signs a week or two ago. Maybe you were in a pilot area.
    • by Donut (128871)

      I enjoy living in Austin, where they seem to test market all the cool nerd stuff.

      $2 is pretty cheap for a try-before-you-buy, though. And you get the whole experience, not some limited demo.

    • by meerling (1487879)
      It is old news, months old. We've been able to do it here for months now (only several weeks after the announcement by Redbox), and we are definitely NOT a test market.
  • How much would it cost the average person to rent LA Noire and play to the end of the game? Seems kinda steep, I guess you can use it as a game demoing service since no one really believes in releasing demos any more.
    • by MBCook (132727)
      I just bought LA Noir on Amazon the other day while it was on sale for $45. At that price, I could have rented it for 22 days and still come out ahead. That's actually pretty good.
    • You can rent LA Noire for 0.2785 bitcoins today.
    • by whoop (194)

      Like anything, it depends on how much you play it. If you play quite a bit, you could finish it all in a few days. It could be done for say, $10. Not a bad deal.

      When Redbox announced this program a few months back, one dev, I want to say Cliffy B, said it was the end of these games with less than 15 or so hours of single-player missions. We'll see.

  • What about games that require add'l maps to play current multiplayer, ala MW2? Is this a quick source of cash for them, or (more likely at $2 price point) are the addons pricing their games out of this rental market? If you were RedBox, would you exclude these games from your machine? (I would)
    • by Toonol (1057698)
      They seems to be picking games that are suitable for the distribution method. Action-adventure, puzzle, arcade, FPS, family games, etc.

      We were having some friends over, and so I rented "Jeopardy," the quiz show game, on a lark. Not something I would EVER buy, even used... but spending $2 for play it with some friends for an hour was fun. I wouldn't have spent $8 or whatever Blockbuster charges for game rentals.
      • It's roughly $8 at Blockbuster, and older games aren't cheaper. If they have too many they'll often resell the older games for less than the rental price. I saw several games for $8 to rent and $6 to buy used when I went there last weekend. The clerk said sometimes he tells people but they rent it anyway.
  • Never, ever rent an RPG. Or any Rockstar game. You might as well go buy it, even if you have to sell plasma and kidneys. You'll pay more in the long run on many types of games renting than you will buying, and unlike rent-to-own scams that ultimately charge 300% of retail for your item, this time you won't even own it when you're done.
    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      Not really. The game costs $60 new. If you're going to beat the game in less than a month, and never play it again, it makes more sense to rent it.

      Alternatively, perhaps you play it for one day and decide it's not your thing. It certainly makes more sense than paying $60 for a game where there's a 50% chance you won't like it.

    • I rent RPG's all the time. But I use Gamefly, the exception to the rule.
  • Yet another games rental service that completely ignores PC gamers.

    • Don't worry... it also ignores Mac Gamers, Linux gamers, board gamers, sports gamers, and mind gamers.

      They're only doing games that run off the media they rent; anything else is going to get really tricky.

    • Yet another games rental service that completely ignores PC gamers.

      Or, responds to the lack of DRM on PCs combined with the legal risks of being labeled as "enabling piracy".
      Can't blame the rental service for getting the most bang for their buck.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        As opposed to piracy of Console games? You can do that, you know.

        • I know, but a PC in a "factory default" config will let you install a game & take the DVD back, while the game still works. If not, finding a single file to run on the PC to remove the CD/DVD check is trivial.

          Hacking consoles is slightly more work, and is detected by the online gaming systems (XBL, PSN) more frequently.

          Remember, consoles don't give you root by default, PCs do (for now).

      • by Archwyrm (670653)

        Lack? Here is a list of PC games with DRM [flibitijibibo.com]. Not to mention that these are all games on Steam which is DRM in itself. Some DRM schemes are bearable, others are not. All are circumventable in one way or another (both for PC and consoles).

        • Right, and how is any Steam game going to work more than once for rental?

          Perhaps I should have said "rentable" games, e.g., games that are not linked with an online account like Steam.

          • by Archwyrm (670653)

            I was not suggesting that Steam games should be rentable. The list is the most comprehensive one that I know of and is certainly missing many PC games because additional DRM has been removed in favor of simply relying on Steam. Thus the list is merely a response to your claim of the "lack of DRM on PCs". PC games (from major publishers at least) are rife with it.

    • Yet another games rental service that completely ignores PC gamers.

      PC game rental services in the United States would need the copyright owner's permission. Console game rental services do not. See Title 17, United States Code, section 109(b)(1)(B)(ii) [copyright.gov].

    • by brkello (642429)

      There is no way to do PC rentals...it is a whole different model. It isn't ignoring it...it just doesn't make sense.

  • They don't seem to have much for Xbox and the android apps to say where stuff is in stock to not work with video games.
  • we all knew this was coming.

    I can try new games, and if they suck, no great loss.

  • Buy a used game at Gamestop, return it 7 days later for a 100% cash refund. Tough to beat that. Good luck, redbox!
  • I rented a lame dvd for the kids. I went back to McD's to return it and the machine wouldn't take it because the box was full. Drove across town to two other boxes with the same result. Same thing the next day, and the next. So I payed for 3 days, and drove all over town 3 times for a movie I could have bought at the cutout bin for 99c. Their website says I'm responsible for charges until it's returned. I don't know if this is some kind of freak lightning strike miracle or happens all the time, either
    • WOW, I have never, ever, ever had to do that at the one by me. Of course, if I did, there's about 8 within 1/2 mile of the one by my house.
    • Yeah I'm not a giant fan of Red box but I've never heard of this happening, and its never happened to me either. Antecdotal, of course. Like the other poster who responded to you, I'm also in a large American metro area where there are probably 10 mcdonalds / walmart / grocery store red box kiosks within a few miles of me.

    • by JimboFBX (1097277)

      You do realize you can e-mail them and they will waive your fees. They log the status of the boxes and can easily confirm that a box went full at some point in the day and even if its just for a few minutes you'll get a refund for that day.

    • I went back to McD's to return it and the machine wouldn't take it because the box was full. Drove across town to two other boxes with the same result. Same thing the next day, and the next. So I payed for 3 days, and drove all over town 3 times for a movie I could have bought at the cutout bin for 99c.

      You might not get a chance to read this since articles
      are usually forgotten about by the next day...

      But I had the EXACT same thing happen to me and
      I called and raised holy hell with them about their so
      called "system".

      Got comped for all the dollar days I was charged and
      given two free rentals (two bux) for my troubles. Didn't
      pay for my gas but definitely kept me from swearing
      them off for good.

      Now I just swear them off cause the movie season
      that led to the DVDs out right now.. sucked... so
      the current selection

  • I never rent movies anymore, so I haven't really jumped on the Redbox thing like a lot of other people, but now that they're renting games it's worth it to me. There are so many freaking 5-10 hour games anymore, I can bang that out in one or two days. Plus I have a Redbox literally right downstairs from my apartment. Win-win :)

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