Redbox launches website to comment on rental ban of Xbox One games

When Microsoft revealed its used disc game policies for the Xbox One console earlier this week, one thing that was revealed was that Microsoft was not going to allow the rental of those disc products for its launch, saying only that it was "exploring the possibilities with our partners."

That revelation likely doesn't please companies like GameFly, Blockbuster and Redbox, which have offered game rentals for many of the current and past game consoles. Redbox appears to be taking a rather interesting course of action that may rally an effort for Microsoft to change its mind.

Redbox, which rents Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii games from its thousands of kiosks in the US, has launched a website called GamingFuture.net. On the surface, it just seems to be a place where anyone can comment on the next generation of games consoles like the Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.

The site states:

Have you heard about what’s coming? Reports say that Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 might have enhanced graphics, enhanced motion control, cloud-based storage, new games and experiences. But you might not be able to play without an Internet connection, lend games freely, buy used games or rent games. We want to provide a forum for you to talk about what excites you about the future of gaming… and what concerns you.

It would appear that Redbox is trying to get the gaming community fired up enough that they demand that Microsoft, and maybe Sony, allow for game disc rentals for their next consoles. So far neither GameFly nor Blockbuster have commented on Microsoft's stance of no rentals for Xbox One game discs.

Source: GamingFuture.net via Engadget | Images via Redbox

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So, if MS ever decides to take the ONE server offline (maybe the console has reached it's end of service mark, console is more than 5 years old) will the games go down with it?

Ideally, I'd like to see Microsoft offer two methods of rentals:

Option 1: Through Xbox itself - Offer game rentals directly through Xbox Marketplace, with the option of playing through streaming or a time-locked game file on your hard drive. It'll likely cost more than Option 2 due to the unfortunate concept of a "convenience charge" despite not having to deal with a physical distribution beyond data centers and bandwidth. Hopefully, there will be deals/specials, and price reductions as they become older.

Option 2. Through Redbox, Gamefly, Blockbuster, others - You go to these entities, pay for a game disc specialized for rental purposes, put it in your Xbox and it will verify it. Then you play for however long your rental period you choose lasts and physically return it. This might be cheaper than paying for direct Xbox rentals, and will appease these businesses for this generation.

I see lots of opportunities here. Imagine if Redbox partnered with Microsoft on an XOne app that rents games just like Xbox Video rents movies -- with similar restrictions. They could charge a monthly fee like Netflix does for unlimited gaming, or use a time-limited per-game model (or a combination).

I for one would love not having to drive out to a kiosk only to find the game I want isn't there -- nor would I miss having to rush back to avoid getting charged again for another day.

As it is, we rent most of our movies from Xbox Video just because it's more convenient.

Microsoft is ALL about partnerships and enabling others by way of their platform. I really believe they are probably already in talks with rental providers about methods of enabling them. Business models may need to change and evolve, but I believe there is a way for everyone to be happy.

At least, everyone who isn't just looking to get something for nothing -- a category into which many here seem to fall...

The question is, there is no way publishers will adopt one way on "Xbox ONE" and a diferent way on "PS4".

People are complanning about "Xbox ONE" used games rules, but don't think that publishers will adopt the same policies on "PS4".

But we all know how Steam works, and if the consoles are worse, we all already have PCs...

Console manufacturers can go ahead and screw themselves if they want, I guess!

Anyway, there are at least official confirmations on the Sony side that you can stay offline totally and buy/rent games.

Oh, I must be dreaming then.

Sony already said the games don't have to be internet activated to play offline.
So how are they going to track if a game is rental, borrowed or bought.

And if they do it for online play.... this been normal since the frigging 90s on desktops, and its normal since this generation.

Well, they'll have to have something similar otherwise the publishers won't be letting them have games. It's the publishers who are against the used games and rentals, not microsoft and sony. There is no way they'll enforce this on the xbox while letting sony do as they want.

This...

If people start to realize who make most of the money on used games, they have to realize why publishers are closing this loop.
Big name games cost a fortune to develop these days, and publishers see a lot of money disappear into pockets of others who didn't do any of the work.

Is this all fair? Depends probably who you're asking, but it is definitely a reason why a lot of studios gone under.
All other media have more than one stream of revenue, games not so much...

And people who are saying they move to Steam. Who knows what will happen there...

If you think rentals and used games are going to keep studios from going under you're delusional. It might increase sales by a marginal amount for the studio but in general if they keep making high budget low quality games people are still not going to play it. The problem with the gaming industry is much deeper then used games and rentals.

Years ago, when renting games was normal. I used to rent a lot of games. Since in the PSX/PS2 days, the internet wasnt as it is today.

And they arent missing money on rentals, the rental licenses are a lot more expensive.

Its not really up to Microsoft nor Sony to decide about game rentals. The core problem here is that the original publishers make no money from companies who resell used games or rent them. It's the same thing with PC gaming; product keys activations, Steam etc. at least the experience is slightly better on the Xbox one. No wonder how so many game publishers went bust as of lately.

The reason publishers are going bust has nothing to do with used games or rentals. The resale and rental of games has been happening for a long time. The problem lies in the fact that they're spending millions upon millions for dollars to produce short lived, low quality and unoriginal games.

Got to love the use of the word 'might' here....

Have you heard about what's coming? Reports say that Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 might have enhanced graphics, enhanced motion control, cloud-based storage, new games and experiences

The official Xbox statements said that they're still working on rentals. Since the system has you fully install the games to the hdd and not need the disc it would mean that MS has to get the publishers/developers to agree with doing some type of rental system that works. That could mean needing them to make a second "rental" disc but that way could up their costs maybe? Or they could be trying to get the rental outlets to agree to some type of digital rental code system that they'd have to give out to each person who rents a game.

As it stands, it seems like GameFly doesn't yet know what rental options are being worked on. In the end though I expect to see rentals being possible. For starters each X1 game will be available as a disc and digitally, so I'm thinking, why not allow GameFly to sell "rental codes" that will allow people to download and play the games for a set period of time? Maybe a week? And then the install expires and you pay again for more time etc.

Most likely rental options will be provided by Microsoft itself without third parties and without sending physical discs. So gamers just download games from Microsoft servers and then DRM restricts gaming for non-payers.

anonymf said,
Most likely rental options will be provided by Microsoft itself without third parties and without sending physical discs. So gamers just download games from Microsoft servers and then DRM restricts gaming for non-payers.

That could happen but MS said they like their retail partners though would rental places be thought of as the same as retail? If being a gold member though lets you "rent" games for a set period of time without paying more then that'd be huge IMO.

anonymf said,
Most likely rental options will be provided by Microsoft itself without third parties and without sending physical discs. So gamers just download games from Microsoft servers and then DRM restricts gaming for non-payers.

Though this is an option, it still would not solve the issue people have with bandwidth caps, just say to download and install the demo's are like 5-10 Gb or larger in size, that would eat up a lot of people's bandwidth forcing them to rent less games per month cause of the cap. So between watching a few movies online, youtube, streaming music, daily browsing, by just doing those normal activities it already eats up the bandwidth leaving no room to bother with rentals or people would have to sacrifice a few of these activities. This is why there should still be physical locations to buy/rent/trade, etc

Ultravires said,

Though this is an option, it still would not solve the issue people have with bandwidth caps, just say to download and install the demo's are like 5-10 Gb or larger in size, that would eat up a lot of people's bandwidth forcing them to rent less games per month cause of the cap. So between watching a few movies online, youtube, streaming music, daily browsing, by just doing those normal activities it already eats up the bandwidth leaving no room to bother with rentals or people would have to sacrifice a few of these activities. This is why there should still be physical locations to buy/rent/trade, etc

True, and I'm betting that the physical rental places don't know the details yet because MS is probably working with the publishers still on how to make "rental discs" instead of the normal "install discs". Finding the best way to tell between the two types of games on a system that will in the end install both to the hdd has some work that comes with it.

slapfacemcdougal said,
No he's only allowed to share with up to 10 family members, or with 1 person who's been on his friends list for 30 days.

And on playstation you all need coupons and vouchers to use the packet you bought.

slapfacemcdougal said,
No he's only allowed to share with up to 10 family members, or with 1 person who's been on his friends list for 30 days.

He only has to be on his list for 30 days if he wants to give him all the popcorn for good, not share it.