What The Bright Future Of Game Rentals Looks Like

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One of the most classic ways to try a game out was to rent them from a Blockbuster near you. As we all know, this business has sadly gone. However, now we are left looking for other ways to rent games, so what options are there?

Well, lets start with the service that is as classic as Netflix itself: Gamefly. Following shortly after the fall of Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix was the online game rental service known as Gamefly. This website worked just like the online Netflix DVD service which was that you could pay a monthly fee of $22.95 per month for 2 games at a time or $15.95 per month for 1 game at a time. Despite all the new ways to rent a game, that I am about to get into, this is still one of the best options in my opinion. No late fees or expectations to return the game in a timely manner, you can practically OWN the game for however long you need and trade it back in for a whole new title! If that isn't the best form of game exchange, then I don't know what is. 

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The next best option is Redbox. This is the red machine you can see outside of most Wal-Mart's, convenient stores, and occasional other shopping areas that allow you to rent movies for a night for only $1, but did you know they include games? It is only a small fee, but you can rent a game for a night which gives you the chance to try it out. If you are enjoying the game a lot and choose to keep it another night, there will be a charge for the same amount, but that is done automatically.

One of Redbox's cool aspects would be that you can use their website to search for what device near you actually has it in stock before even leaving your house. They also have Play Pass system set up! The Play Pass gives you three benefits:

  • Earn 10 points every time you rent. 100 points gets you a free movie or game night.
  • We'll also throw in a movie for your birthday and Play Pass anniversary.
  • Get double and triple point exclusives along with other surprise rewards.

If you are just looking to try a game out before buying it for full price, I highly suggest Redbox as your option for trial gaming.

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Now we even have Gamestop joining in the race! Introducing their newest form of game rental service that was supposed to start in November but is currently being delayed due to "program limitations," PowerPass. This new system will allow customers to rent a pre-owned game and return it at their own leisure. It was going to go for $60 for a 6-month, all-you-can-play ticket to GameStop's pre-owned stock of games. There's no limit to how many games you can effectively rent using PowerPass, but you can only take one one home at a time. When the 6 months are up, you can choose to keep one of the games too.

Unfortunately they are still working on this system and it hasn't officially gone up yet. Consumers who purchased a PowerPass early have been invited to return the game and get a full refund for the PowerPass they paid for. Hopefully they can get this system up soon though because it would be an amazing replacement for the Redbox option.

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For Xbox gamers, you always have the option to have a direct rental service through Xbox Game Pass system. For only $1, you can try this system out. This is only for the first month and then it will go to $9.99, but this is the most direct way to rent games and try them out for as long as you want! They have over 100 games in their stock for you to choose from and it just continues to grow as more games are launched.

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For Playstation gamers, you have the option to have a direct rental service through Playstation Now. You can start with a 7-Day Free trial period before starting the $19.99 monthly payment fee, or half off by buying the 12-month subscription for $99.99, to use this service. It is a handy system though as it has over 500 games in stock for players to choose from and will allow you to not only play them on the PS4, but also from a Windows PC. Just plug in your Dualshock 4 controller and get ready to get your game on.

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Since all these options are already available, it makes you wonder what they will do to keep on top, so that they don't lose players to better service options. Gamestop's PowerPass plan seems like a good replacement for both Redbox and Gamefly, but they have to get that organized first. My personal choice would be to just rent directly from your game service, Playstation Now and Xbox Game Pass, since you could just download the game when you want to play it and delete it when you are done with it.

There are still going to be more competitors joining the field as the game industry continues to grow to being just as big, if not bigger, than the movie industry. Before there were stores and systems set up to let you watch movies or TV directly, but things are quickly developing to always include games. I don't think it will be long before the game industry is bigger than the movie industry.

Which of these rental services interests you more? Are you already a subscriber of a plan and looking to find something better? Tell me which of these rental service options you think would be the best for you.