DVD Avenue ceased doing its limited game rental service in early 2008; we keep this review as it was for posterity.
DVD Avenue is mainly a DVD rental company based in Washington DC area, but does rent some games, only 500+ at last count, so a poor choice for most gamers. They only stock games for the PS2 (388) and the Xbox (187), nothing from the latest generation Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii when we checked. For games, they have a box photo, a paragraph synopsis, classification, subscriber rating, and opportunity to "Rate this Movie." There are no game-specific features like screenshots and such.
There's really not too much else to say on the game rental front, as this is clearly oriented toward DVD rental. The only thing that makes DVD Avenue worth a second look are the prices, as they charge the same low prices for DVD rental as games, so they may be an option if you have an older Xbox or PS2, don't intend to upgrade, and don't want the newest titles quick.
Their actual title information is excellent, with hyperlinked listings of stars, genre, screen format, subtitles, and subscriber rating. We also like the DVD Avenue allows actual customer comments below the films. And of course there is a box picture, synopsis, as well as "See More Like This" option and even "Recommend to a Friend"--these are minor features perhaps, but we like them.
For DVDs, they appear to stock only 8,187 titles as of March 2007 when we did a quick tally (vice the 25,000 claimed). This still isn't bad and will cover mainstream tastes--far bigger than a local video store, but nowhere near the range of Blockbuster or Netflix. They include X-rated adult titles. DVD titles have a fair amount of information, though there's always room for more, like user-generated reviews. They do have an option to purchase ex-rental DVDs and games. They also have a handy Holiday option where you can suspend your subscription with a simple click.
We like their browsing aids such as Expert Picks, Highest Rated, Most Popular, New Releases, Pot Luck, Oscar Winners, and even The Duds, among other. They do have a customer service phone line, and an 800 number at that, which is a major plus that all too few companies boast. They also have an option to purchase ex-rental DVDs.
DVD Avenue is the only game rental company based in Washington DC, so may be a strong choice for residents despite the drawbacks mentioned above. Shipping times as quoted from their website are 1 day to DC Metro area, 2-3 days to Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, 2-4 Days to Midwest, and 3-5 days to the West Coast.
We think there's a lot of promise here with low prices and some older game rentals, but the site doesn't quite deliver. It's often little things, like having an About Us page which says Coming Soon.
Prices: DVD Avenue has a no free trial. Combined DVD/game rental plans are $9.95 per month for 1 DVD/game out at a time, $14.95 for 2 out, $19.95 for 3 out, and an impressive $24.95 for 4 out.