GameFly Vs. Blockbuster

There’s no real comparison here, but I tried them both anyway. I had a pass from my local Blockbuster store that let me rent my one game for as long as I’d like for $15/month. I loved being able to instantly switch games, even though their selection was often lacking. Unsurprisingly, that Blockbuster recently closed. I thought I would try to remain loyal by signing up for their online service. I tried GameFly at the same time, since they both had their first month free.

Despite signing up on the same day, Blockbuster’s game took four days longer to arrive. Perhaps it just takes longer to establish the account, or I’m further from their warehouse. The GameFly game arrived in a cardboard sleeve and a paper sleeve, presumably to keep the disc from cracking. The Blockbuster game arrived in just a paper sleeve, and what do you know, it was cracked. And not just a little cracked.

This is not more of what I want.

It was cracked from the center ring all the way to the edge. I sent an defective report, returned it, and they sent another copy of the same game. That took about a week. By then I had already returned my first game and received my second GameFly game.

GameFly has a fantastic app that lets you manage your queue (which they call “Q”) on the go, browse games, read gaming news, connect with other GameFly users (like Twitter, but less fun), and more. They also offer a client for your computer through which you can play certain unlimited games. This client is basically like an app, allowing you to browse through much of what you find on the website. I didn’t use the blockbuster app because, for whatever reason, it wasn’t available for my phone at the time. I have downloaded it since, but I didn’t see any games available at all, just movies.

In addition to slow delivery, Blockbuster has as low of a selection online as they did in my local store. It seems that they are more content to simply sell the games then rent them, which may be what they want anyways. Blockbuster didn’t have any current gen handheld games to rent, and their console games were mostly outdated or unavailable. I can only assume that their movie selection is better. As I was only interested in games, I didn’t bother checking.

GameFly has PSVita and 3DS games as well as an impressive inventory of console games. They also have a Fast Return system, wherein your local Post Office tells GameFly they have received your game, and GameFly ships the next one from your list. This ingenious system takes two or three days off the return time. In somewhat related news, GameFly also brought legal action against the USPS because they hand sorted Netflix (and Blockbuster) discs but not GameFly discs for no apparent reason (hand sorting discs leads to less damage than machine sorting).

Blockbuster is a lot cheaper than Gamefly, letting you rent three discs for $19.99 whereas GameFly is $22.95 for only two discs. You can select from movies and games with Blockbuster, whereas Gamefly is only games. Each offers a trial period at a discount. GameFly will almost certainly have a faster turn around time than Blockbuster. If you subscribe to either one, then attempt cancel your membership, they will offer you a lower rate for one month. Ethically, it’s not something you should do… and I also don’t know how often that would work.

Because I was only interested in games, GameFly was the best choice. It’s more expensive, but you get what you pay for: better selection, ease of use, and quicker returns. Additionally, if you decide to use GameFly, you can use this link to get a free month (I’ll also get a free month). Sometimes they offer a free month on the site, but as of right now it’s 60% off the first month.

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