Redbox quietly testing video game rentals

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No. 1 rental kiosk company Redbox plans to test video game rentals alongside its well-established DVD rental business in grocery stores, malls, and other locations across the United States.

The video games are available in select areas for $2 per day, with games available for all three major consoles.

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Redbox quietly testing video game rentals
Redbox will have to compete with Blockbuster and Gamefly in a crowded market for video game rentals.

Outside the company’s three sample states of Nevada, North Carolina and Texas, it’s unknown when the video game service will be offered on a wider scale.  Redbox units in the Austin area will have a small selection of video games. Early reports indicate a small average of 2.8 game titles available per kiosk , but the selection will obviously need to increase quickly if they want success with the service.

Research compiled by Eric Wold, Merriman Curhan Ford analyst, is significant because he also discovered the Sony PlayStation 3 had titles available in more kiosks than the Nintendo Wii.  PS3 titles are offered in 39 percent of Austin Redbox kiosks, while 28 percent of the units offer Wii titles — with such a small number of games available, it will be some time before this statistic could really matter.

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Redbox has looked to expand outside of daily DVD rentals, with the company’s interest in Blu-ray and video games as the two most likely options.  As mentioned earlier in the month, Redbox confirmed it will offer Blu-ray movies for $1.50 per night, a fifty-cent additional charge compared to DVD rentals.

The movie rental kiosk has had solid business, despite several 28-day sales agreements that delay new releases to Redbox.  The company is also testing higher-priced $2 DVD rentals, which first started in Albuquerque last November – and has prices ranging from $1.15 to $1.50 per day for DVD rentals.

Redbox is facing pressure in the rental kiosk market from the likes of DVDPlay, Blockbuster, but also must deal with Netflix and other rivals.

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