Online video game rental

mudgirl wants to join ( It’s kinda like Netflix but for video games (she has a Wii).
It seems awfully expensive to me. For two games out at a time, it’s $11.95 for the first month, then $22.95/mo after that. I’ve told her that if we set aside that much money every month, and hit the used games section at Game Stop, she could have an enviable game collection in under a year, and she would own them all! But she seems to like the idea of the rental, so she can try games she’s not sure about.

Are there less expensive alternatives to gamefly?

I don’t know about online game rentals…but I used to rent computer games at a B&M outlet, and I found that it was cost effective. I was able to find out which games were bombs, and which had a lot of glitches that couldn’t be fixed.

It really depends on what sort of games she wants to play. I prefer the sort of game with a lot of replay value, but there are lots of games that that are fun to play for a few hours, and then they are just paperweights.

My impression of Wii games is that they don’t have a lot of replay value, except for a few of them. I don’t own a Wii for precisely this reason. However, mudgirl’s MMV.

Gamefly is almost literally the only game in town when it comes to online game rental. But the first month is free, not $11.95 (with a coupon, but you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting at least one free Gamefly coupon). Blockbuster offers a similar service for $11.99 (1 disc), $16.99 (2 discs) or $19.99 (3 discs) a month. I’ve only ever used Gamefly, and while they’re not great, I don’t any trust in Blockbuster right now.

That said, I think you’re grossly overestimating your ability to buy used games anywhere. $23 a month will get you some decent games, but two a month would be pushing it. Especially if you’ve got a Wii and are looking for the Nintendo-published titles.

Gamefly is totally worth it if mudgirl likes new games. It’s not a good deal if she likes older games. If she wants the newest games it’s an absolute steal because otherwise she’d be paying $50-75 for a new game every 2 or 3 months. With Gamefly she can have a new game every week, two weeks, or every month if she wants to. My SO has tried a game (he plays on the 360) and has sent it back immediately. I’d say 25% of the games he does this with. He’d never be able to get a variety otherwise and if he bought a dud, as he so often did before Gamefly? Well, that’s all he gets for 2-3 months then and that really stinks.

Another asset of Gamefly is they often offer cheap used games, cheaper than you’d find in a Gamestop. You can cancel your membership at any time or put it on hold while she plays the cheap game she just purchased. Also on the upside is that he’s never had an unplayable disc, and with Netflix we’ve had several. I think they clean them before sending the Gamefly disks out again.

Now, the downside is that turnaround time is NOT as fast as Netflix. I forget where you guys live exactly, but there’s a shipping center right in Pittsburgh so turn around time is 2-3 days for us. It’s 1-2 days longer for the suburbs (dropped in the mail Monday may mean no new game till Friday). I’m not sure how you’d be able to check out in advance how long the turnaround time would be for you. Also unlike Netflix, which always sends you the next game in your queue, Gamefly often will pick one of your top 3 (or top 4, can’t remember). So you’re not always guaranteed that super hot new game, although the SO says that the majority of the time they will send him his top pick. It’s just not a hard and fast rule like it is with Netflix.

Gamefly has a lot of people who hate it because they got into it early on. In the past year it’s been very efficient and he has no complaints.

ETA: Sorry for all the Netflix comparisons, but many people are let down because they assume Gamefly is exactly like Netflix. It’s similar, but not the same. Also most people go with the 1 at a time and play it for several weeks, so that drops your cost down to $16 or so. Hope that helps!

Moved Cafe Society --> the Game Room.

Ha! I never get my top pick and rarely get a game in the top ten. Gamefly doesn’t have enough copies of the newest games to satisfy demand. It’s still a good service, but if you expect to be playing the newest games the same week they release, it’s probably not going to happen.

Hmm, I think he’s not on top of things till week 2 or 3 when it’s been released. That said, your post does confirm that one’s mileage certainly seems to vary with Gamefly. I never heard of someone not getting their game in the top 10, but that’s just a handful of people and we are close to a distribution center too.

Thanks for all the input, guys! (And thanks for moving it, Twicks, I was kind of torn about where to put it in the first place!)

The hubby and I were thinking that Gamefly was too expensive, but I will share this thread with him and we may end up re-thinking our original opinion.

Lindsaybluth, even though we live in the middle-of-nowhere WV, we’re only about two hours from Pittsburgh, so hopefully turn-around time wouldn’t be too awful!


Take everything out of your queue except for the game you want. I think they must have some sort of prioritization system to ensure that their customers get a game with reasonable turnaround, so if they don’t have a second choice they’ll get you your first choice pretty quickly. I’ve been doing it this way for several months now and the longest delay I’ve had is about a week.

I’ve tried this and all they do is not send me a game until I repopulate the list and tell me “Hey, where’s my next game?”

norinew, I found that these are the distribution centers: Los Angeles, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Tampa, FL and Austin, TX.

So it looks like you’ll have a very quick turnaround time.

Also, what storyteller said is what I was just about to PM you and Justin :p. The SO has done it once or twice and it worked for him.