May 11: We've redone our ranking table, and Gamemine has leapt up from a solid third to narrowly clinch our number one spot. Gamefly is just that little bit bigger, but when you take into consideration Gamemine's rapid rise and cheaper prices, we think they're the best options for gamers right now. We'll re-evaluate over the summer to see if they remain worthy to hang onto their new crown...
March 10: We've completed a major scrub of all the sites and updated prices and such. Gamefly does appear to be the behemoth of the industry, with an inventory of over 7,300 titles. Gamerang trails a bit behind, but we noted they've been phasing out some of the titles for older consoles, and Gamemine comes a close third. Rentzero is a basic site and a fair choice for those in and around Texas only in our opinion, while Gottaplay appears to be ailing and Gamma Gamer remains practically in stasis, but still online. We noticed newcomer Gamerentz has gone out of business, bringing the total US video game rental sites down to 6 by our reckoning.
February 10: We had a look at Gottaplay, and though they're still in business with a ~1 penny share price, things look pretty grim. They haven't changed their claimed title size of 4,000 for a couple years (since far exceeded by the market leaders), and their New Releases area on the front page is actually blank. We wouldn't be surprised if they're the next major company to go under, though we have no inside information that's the case--it's just a pattern we've seen many times before (11 companies have gone bust since the economic downturn began by our count). We have noted they've apparently hiked their prices and gotten rid of their free trial, offering 30% off the first month price instead.
January 10: Happy New Year--no site updates this month, but we will be doing a major site check in the next month or two.
December 09: Nothing new to mention this month--best load your queues with some good games over the Christmas break.
November 09: No major changes this month to report.
October 09: The big news is the Wii has dropped its price to follow suit with the other console price drops. You can now pick up a Wii console for only $199, and both the new PS3 Slim console and Xbox 360 Elite go for $299. See our console buying guide for more details.
September 09: It looks like the US game rental by mail industry has stabilized, as there's been little changes to the existing players (after the recession winnowed out several of the weaker companies). This is good, as the game rental companies which remain will be all the stronger for surviving the downturn. We just hope the industry doesn't get too consolidated; after all, some healthy competition can only be good for the consumers (and it gives us more to do in evaluating the various companies--no fun if only one or two remained).
August 09: The world of DVD and video game rental is pretty quiet for the dog days of August.
July 09: No changes to the site for July.
June 09: As summer finally rolls in, we enter the slowest season of the year for video game rental activity (and visits to our guide). Must be all those people spending time outdoors soaking up the good weather, or away on vacation.
May 09: Nothing new to pass on this month
April 09: After the maelstrom of new design and news that was last month, we have little to report in the realm of online game rentals this time around.
March 09: We did a big scrub of all the sites, updating the numbers of title for each console where we could. There was another casualty--Get Your Gamez--which has gone out of business, but we stumbled on a new game rental site, Game Rentz, so the total US game rental sites stay at 7.
We've just completed a redesign of our website, widening every page from 800 to 1,000 pixels. Our tracking shows that only 3% of visitors have a monitor with under 1,000 pixels, so we felt it was a good time to upgrade. This allows us to include extras like a sidebar beside our main table with definitions for the fields in the table. We can also use some larger fonts, larger screenshots of the various sites we review, etc. and hope the site is more functional and more modern looking as a result.
February 09: Our new blog is plugging along. We've backdated all our site updates listed below into the blog, so it should also serve as an archive of our site, in addition to reporting the latest video game rental news.
January 2009: The big news is GameZnFlicks appears to be down and out of business. Looks like we were right to knock their ranking down and warn people against signing up with them. Little else as yet to report in the new year, but we'll continue to watch the US games rental market closely.
Happy gaming in 2009!
September 2008: GamzNFlix, long troubled and unable to pay its debts, is now out of business (or at least their domain name is closed and up for sale). They had offered a cheap games and DVD service which sounded good in theory, but unfortunately they were never very good in practice.
September 2008: The games rental industry has been pretty quiet of late, but we've gone and done a major site update, as we're heading into the cooler part of the year, historically peak rental season. We knocked down both GameZnFlicks and Gottaplay as their stocks are seriously ailing, and having just seen six gaming companies go out of business last year, we're concerned about possibly recommending companies which may go under. And when they do, customers are often left holding the bag, especially if they were unlucky enough to purchase 6 or 12-month discount subscriptions which are usually the best deals around. We hope that these companies will recover, as Gottaplay in particular is an excellent service, but we'll have to wait and see. Our top picks of Gamefly, Gamerang, and Rentzero remain expanding and strong.
We intend to pay much closer attention to the US game rental market in future months, and have updated the precise numbers of titles each company carries for each console so consumers can better decide on which to join.
January 2008: A new games rental site has come out of the woodwork, Get Your Gamez, which brings the total in the US (to our knowledge) back up to 9 sites. We moved Gottaplay down a bit mainly to to concerns about the massive 88% fall in the share price over the past year.
December 2007: Visits to the site continue to rise, as we made some minor adjustments this month.
November 2007: As we move into peak cooler weather rental season, we did a massive review of the site, checking prices, taking new screenshots, etc., and found no less than 6 games rental companies had closed. The old ones, Redoctane, Into the Game, Gamesender, and Gamershare were ailing and were no surprise, but Nimblethumbs, which had a vibrant, updated site, was. Likewise, Intelliflix decided to focus on its core DVD customers and drop their limited game rentals.
We don't know why there's been this massive bloodletting in the games rental industry in a short time--perhaps because now with all three next gen consoles out and games finally flowing, these expensive titles are proving too hard to stock for demanding consumers. Ah well, the survivors in this Darwinian struggle are only getting better, and there's still plenty of choice out there (8 US rental sites), which we'll continue to help navigate for you.
April 2007: We've at long last launched this site reviewing the 13 US game rental sites. We'll update it and keep it current with the latest customer reviews. If we miss something or the site data has changed, feel free to email us with the latest info.
Or for a basic description of how the industry works, check out Games Rental Basics.