Blockbuster's Total Access rental program might soon have a distinct advantage over rival rent-at-home company Netflix with the introduction of video game rentals to the service. Having focused solely on movie DVD rentals since its inception, Total Access will soon begin offering select customers the option of having video games delivered directly to their door as well, as part of a pilot program that will lead directly to a nationwide launch of the service in the second half of this year.
"We already rent more video games than any other company, store-based or online, in the nation, so we know our core customer loves games as well as movies," said Bob Barr, Vice President and General Manager of blockbuster.com. "With this pilot program, we're laying the groundwork for offering BLOCKBUSTER Total Access customers easy online access to the movies and games they want, through an integrated subscription offering."
The move could give Blockbuster a leg up on rival Netflix, which currently only offers movies, as well as stirring up competition for game rental service GameFly.
This of course all depends on how well Blockbuster implements the service. I've found that Netflix generally has wider selection and better availability, and as many a Blockbuster game renter can attest to, the company tends to be rather selective when it comes to which games wind up on store shelves.
Still, some video games is better than none at all, and the added ability to trade in your online rentals for half-priced game rentals at your local Blockbuster is certainly a plus. Time will tell if the move can help Blockbuster persevere in the face of an increasingly hostile business environment.