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Redbox Brings Video Game Rentals To Vending Machines

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-your-eight-year-old-can-play-duke-nukem-forever dept.

PlayStation (Games) 71

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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First rental (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480256)

I got this post from a Redbox machine.

Okay, but... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480264)

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

Re:Okay, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480310)

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

The same way you get them from GameFly

Re:Okay, but... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480706)

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

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

Re:Okay, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481766)

I think more importantly how do you get the game and sign up for (and receive) the "free" DLC that often comes with the first use of the code sold with the game? How do you get additional pay DLC or patches? In such a model I don't believe you actually can get full use of the game - by design as the software publishers don't like the rental model and hate the resale market.

Re:Okay, but... (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482080)

How do you get the case, how do you get the manual, how do you get the Gamestop receipt so you can shrinkwrap it and return for full refund?

Get fucking real. It's a rental. You only get a disc. This renting video games idea has been around since the NES days. If you cannot figure it out by now, you don't need to be using them.

I thought this was old news? (4, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:I thought this was old news? (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480350)

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.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480660)

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 out there.

Re:I thought this was old news? (2)

Nationless (2123580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480744)

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..

Re:I thought this was old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483146)

When those reviewers who may be accommodating PR or taking bribes universally pan a game, or give mediocre scores, it's usually a good sign that a game has serious flaws. Scores may get fudged upwards on popular genre titles or AAA franchises, but a plethora of low scores is a good sign to stay away or maybe just rent or demo a game.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480922)

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, or at the very least someone mods it.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

qzjul (944600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481218)

I thought the way to try-before-you-buy was to download a cracked copy via some torrent....

Re:I thought this was old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526406)

Might work for PC games, but what if you have a console which isn't hacked to play copies.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

Ryunosuke (576755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480914)

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.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480984)

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...

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481140)

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

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481746)

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.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480470)

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.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480780)

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.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480556)

Our local boxes put on "Coming Soon" signs a week or two ago. Maybe you were in a pilot area.

Re:I thought this was old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480558)

I don't know... sounds like an incentive to actually play the damn game and not half-ass it (if you actually want to play it, of course, no forcing).

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

Donut (128871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480562)

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.

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481070)

If this is what qualifies as cool nerd stuff, get the hell out of Austin.

Re:I thought this was old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480880)

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.

Probably the latter. Most of the people I know have been trading in their PS3s due to the epic fail of Sony.

CAPTCHA lol: soviet

Re:I thought this was old news? (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482042)

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.

Old News? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480306)

I'll probably get marked a troll, but, I thought they introduced this nationwide months ago. They've had games at our local Redbox's for going on a year.

Re:Old News? (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480724)

I'll probably get marked a troll, but, I thought they introduced this nationwide months ago. They've had games at our local Redbox's for going on a year.

That doesn't make you a troll, just wrong. I hope that our current batch of mods aren't that bad. But perhaps I'm just an optimist.

Re:Old News? (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480734)

I'll probably get marked a troll, but, I thought they introduced this nationwide months ago. They've had games at our local Redbox's for going on a year.

Same here in California.

Re:Old News? (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482344)

Just FYI, California or wherever the original poster is from does not constitute a "nationwide" rollout. Look it up.

Re:Old News? (1)

PwnzerDragoon (2014464) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482942)

Been here in NW Washington for several months now.

Re:Old News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36486742)

Ditto. Is Washington a trial area or something? There were quite a few games in a local redbox when I rented a movie some 6+ months ago.

$2 a day? (1)

Gohtar (1829140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480326)

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.

Re:$2 a day? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480632)

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.

Re:$2 a day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480736)

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 should have waited a few hours. They lowered the price to $40 halfway through the day.

LA Noire for the 360 is spread over 3 discs. Would kind of suck to be playing along then be told to switch discs. Run back to the kiosk only to find out they don't have the next disc in stock.

Re:$2 a day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482094)

Yeah, I immediately looked up the playtime for LA Noire after seeing it at my local Redbox. I was thinking that maybe using this promo code that I found online: NM4G2MX I could get to play it for only a handful of dollars. Normally I use Goozex, a used game trading sight, but that ends up costing me roughly $4 per game. Redbox might be $6 or so, but it's worth it...the line for a new game can be quite daunting whereas the Redbox route is instant gratification.

Re:$2 a day? (1)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481252)

You can rent LA Noire for 0.2785 bitcoins today.

Re:$2 a day? (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482220)

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 add-on / map pack games? (1)

Hebbinator (1001954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480346)

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)

Re:What about add-on / map pack games? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480490)

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.

Re:What about add-on / map pack games? (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480586)

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.

Re:What about add-on / map pack games? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481466)

hold on a second, i don't think you can hear yourself.

first of all, MW2 does not *require* you to have additional maps to play multiplayer. if you don't have the extra maps, you simply won't be put into lobbies where they show up. same goes for CoD4, WaW, and Black Ops. same goes for Bad Company 2, and many others, since this is a standard practice. game developers are not as stupid as you are assuming here.

some (mostly newer) games require you to buy an online pass to play multiplayer. that's not a map, though. these online passes came about in part because of the rental market. in my experience, these passes are included with the game for the first purchaser, or at the very least free for pre-ordering customers. maintaining a multiplayer environment requires holding users accountable for their actions on the game servers. try mitigating the onslaught of bad behavior from players that are renting, and therefore have no accountability to the community in which they participate. online passes make sense (ffs they're only $5 too). game addons are just addons, not full games. redbox doesn't need to ship out the addons for you, and there's no reason to expect they should. if you can't commit to buying the game, why are you entitled to the extras? those are for paying customers, duh.

other games have released their extra content in disc form, like Red Dead Redemption's zombie campaign, or the Gears of War 2: All Fronts collection. nothing would prevent redbox from offering those versions, except licensing deals with the game publishers.

redbox is indeed fortunate that you do not make decisions about which games they offer. since the Call of Duty titles are some of the best-selling and most played titles, you would be an idiot not to take that money from renters. besides, you can still download the extras through the console itself if you want them. then, when you've returned the $2 game, you still have the extras on your console storage. that means the next time you play that same game for another $2 (still far less than paying to own) you already have the extras.

capiche, paisan?

for the record, if i were redbox, i'd offer a service to game publishers to "sneak preview" those smaller titles (that may/may not sell) through the rental market to measure and predict gamer response. if it's a stinker, no need to waste time and money on production and distribution. this opens up the possibility of offering enormous games one level at a time like these modern serial novels they put on SMS. as a game developer, i could release the same game, a level at a time, for $2 a pop and ultimately make far more than $60 per user in the long run. i can't see that working for games like CoD, but Alan Wake? Heavy Rain? hell yeah.

But for the love of Jesus Christ.... (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480356)

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.

Re:But for the love of Jesus Christ.... (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480436)

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.

Of course my strategy.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482000)

Wait a few months and grab a copy for 20-30 dollars.

Re:But for the love of Jesus Christ.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483022)

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.

Doesn't it make more financial sense to buy the game, beat it, and then resell it?

Re:But for the love of Jesus Christ.... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480770)

I rent RPG's all the time. But I use Gamefly, the exception to the rule.

how is this news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480366)

They have been doing this for a bit...i remember seeing wii games as early as april

Been using it for months... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36480410)

They have been doing this for over 6 months in my area, it beats paying full price. I got LA Noire from a kiosk the day it was released.

Re:Been using it for months... (1)

CTU (1844100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480494)

Same here, but I have not wanted to rent that game from a redbox as it would take me to long to beat..guess I got a reason to get a gamefly trial :P

Sigh... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480742)

Yet another games rental service that completely ignores PC gamers.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480918)

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.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36480982)

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.

Re:Sigh... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481052)

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

Re:Sigh... (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481098)

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).

Re:Sigh... (1)

Archwyrm (670653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481174)

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).

Re:Sigh... (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481224)

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.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Archwyrm (670653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482472)

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.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481166)

and how do you propose that a service like redbox would rent a pc game that requires activation/serials and the like?

It's the law: 17 USC 109(b)(1)(B)(ii) (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482142)

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] .

Re:Sigh... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 3 years ago | (#36548294)

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.

Like above poster said Not alot for Xbox. (1)

Uloi (1996356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481034)

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.

Finally (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481044)

we all knew this was coming.

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

I'll stick with Gamestop and "rent" for free (1)

webbiedave (1631473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481056)

Buy a used game at Gamestop, return it 7 days later for a 100% cash refund. Tough to beat that. Good luck, redbox!

I quit using Red Box. (2)

tazan (652775) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482228)

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 way, I'm done.

Re:I quit using Red Box. (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482838)

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.

Re:I quit using Red Box. (1)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483044)

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.

Re:I quit using Red Box. (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483744)

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.

Re:I quit using Red Box. (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36493196)

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 sucks. =)

-AI

Another company did this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36485108)

I think their name was Blockbuster, or Erols, or Gamefly...if you'll excuse me, I need to go buy Rosetta Stone out of a vending machine.

Cool... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486964)

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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