Let me start by saying that this is written by a gamer and as a gamer I consider a lot when comparing one online game rental service to another. Ironically, the same items are reviewed when comparing online game rental services to in-store ones. There are a few words that are held in higher regard by gamers like me than any other when it comes to nabbing video games, whether you get them online or in-store. Those words are; “selection”, “availability”, “accessibility” and “price” or SAAP. Let me break it down for you a bit further.
Though every aspect of SAAP is crucial for a successful online game rental service, selection holds a bit more weight than availability, accessibility or price. Companies need to be able to offer not only what is new but also the games that are not so new anymore that we still enjoy playing. You can pre-buy video games but why can’t you pre-rent them? With online game rental services you can. Reserve a copy early and make sure you get the game the day it comes out without ever leaving your home.
Availability is pretty much worthless without selection, what good is it if they have 100 copies of polar bear bowling? Wherever you get your video games from you need them to have a good selection but what good is carrying the best royal games out there if they only have 1 copy of it? 1000 copies of a game for an online game rental service can be just as useless. Some of the more obscure online game rental services only have 1 distribution center and if you only have 1000 copies of a highly anticipated new release like Killzone 2 was or GTA4 than 1000 copies doesn’t go very far when divided by an entire country of gamers.
This is probably the number one concern on a gamers mind when they are considering an online game rental service. We want our games when we want our games right? But the problem with that “today not tomorrow” philosophy is that you are relying on in-store game rental companies to supply you with the game you WANT when you want it and we all know from experience that 9 out of 10 times they cannot deliver. So you end up waiting much much longer to play the game you’ve been craving than 24 hours. Selection and availability are great no doubt about it. If in-store game rental companies like Blockbuster offered superior selection and availability than there would be no room in a gamers market for a single online game rental service. However, they do not, have not and most likely will not ever get it right.