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Blockbuster Begins Trial Of 'Games By Mail' Program

Currently, Cleveland, Ohio Blockbuster Online customers can sign up for the service, which offers PlayStation 2 and PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii games, and which "plans to expand nationwide" during 2010.
Currently, Cleveland, Ohio Blockbuster Online customers can sign up for the service, which offers PlayStation 2 and PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii games, and which the company "plans to expand nationwide" during 2010. On its site, the company spells out current policies for the pilot program, which is an extension of its current movies-by-mail service Blockbuster Online. The election to rent games incurs an additional $7.99 per-month charge under the current plan; there does not appear to yet be a game-only rental option akin to competitor GameFly, which does not offer films. Even with the extra fee, game rentals are not separate to the user's general rental queue of films, and regardless of their plan, users can only have one game out at a time. As part of the pilot program, games cannot be exchanged at stores -- unlike DVD and Blu-ray rentals. Though Blockbuster does not currently offer by-mail game rentals, neither does the leader in the by-mail DVD rental market, Netflix. Netflix does, however, stream video content to the three major game consoles on the market today. The by-mail game rental market is currently dominated by game-only GameFly. Blockbuster first announced this program in February 2009, with a trial originally due for the second quarter of last year.

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