Will the Revolution Erode the Game Renting Market?

When it was first announced that Nintendo’s next console would feature the ability to play Nintendo’s entire back catalog, I was extremely excited.

While I enjoy using emulation on my current devices to play classic ROMs and ISOs, I’m desiring to have a more enjoyable experience — one that I believe Nintendo can provide.

While obviously, Nintendo will have it’s older games for sale, it also has the opportunity to make a significant dent in the game renting market. It will not change it completely, but it has the possibility to offer more options to the consumer.

There will always be lots of gamers that want to rent the latest and greatest PS3 or XBox360 game, but think about something for a moment. There are lots of great retro titles out there that even casual gamers will be interested — especially if you consider the popular franchises that Nintendo’s library boasts. And now, there will not be the obstacle of not having the old console or running intimidating emulators in order to play them.

Why spend $7-8 at Blockbuster to rent a game for a week when you can spend just a few dollars to get an older Nintendo game that caught your eye? Your average game could have bought the Revolution’s first Zelda incarnation for the Revolution at his local store and then felt the desire to check out Link’s prior adventures. Same goes for Metroid, Mario, and many others. Think of all those great Square RPGs from the SNES — those will occupy many hours that could have been spent at Blockbuster.

To really make a good guess on how much impact the Revolution will make, we will need to see how affordable the game downloads will be. Even if they aren’t dirt cheap, Nintendo has the option of offering game rentals using the same service. Think of it a the Sega Channel revisted — Nintendo style. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Sega Channel, check out some good links)

However the Revolution situation turns out, I believe it will change the gaming market in a significant way.

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    How is downloading old SNES games gonna break the renting habits of people renting new games? Playing SNES games is great, but not going to affect how I rent all the newer games for any system. I can’t believe this was even considered to be a possibility. Hmmm…lets see either rent Zelda for SNES which I beat many times or play the new fantastic looking brand NEW game. I pick NEW!! I can’t believe this was even written

  2. racketboy says:

    Gamers on a budget might be more likely to spend some times on older games they haven’t tried instead of blowing more cash on crappy new games.

    Sure, the blockbuster games will still sell good though.