Redbox, the vending machine-based movie rental service, has been testing video game rentals for more than a year now — since August 2009 — in a number of its locations. The tests were apparently a success, as the company is now moving forward with a rollout plan that will bring video games to more than 21,000 of its free-standing rental machines starting in June.
The company announced the news in a press release, which reveals that games will be available at the low price of $2 per day, alongside $1 per day DVDs and $1.50 per day Blu-rays. This has been the going rate at the more than 5,000 locations where game rentals have been tested. The test was apparently a big success, as company president Mitch Lowe notes that more than one million games have been rented since the test launched two summers ago.
Since Redbox comes with a daily charge, there are no late fees to speak of. The maximum rental window is 25 days; keep the item any longer and it’s yours to keep. This means you end up paying $25 for a DVD, $34.50 for a Blu-ray and $50 for a game, plus tax, though a case is not included. It’s a simple model, and an effective one.
Redbox estimates that more than half of the United States owns a game console. The new initiative will begin on June 17, with rentals available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. With Netflix still refusing to adopt video games and Blockbuster locations dwindling, Redbox ought to do well with what amounts to a cheaper GameFly-alternative.