September 26th, 2003



I resisted for a while, but I finally caved in and registered for Gamefly. I suspect that most of my readers will understand when I say "It's like NetFlix, but for console games". For the other three of you, let me explain.

Gamefly is a service which rents computer games. When you register, you get a queue (charmingly referred to as a "Q", cause vowels distress us) which you can fill with titles that you're interested in. Gamefly maintains a library of PlayStation 2, GameCube, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, and XBox titles for their members. You can have up to two games "checked out" at a time - as long as you like. When you return a game, the next game in your queue gets mailed to you.

One feature that I find tantalizing is that if you really really like a game and want to keep it, there's a button on the website that allows you to purchase the game from Gamefly. They'll drop the original packaging in the mail, and send you your next rental.

Like I said, I only just signed up for this, so I can't comment on the mailers or the turnaround time. The website claims 2-4 days for the games to get to you, which sounds like 4-8 day round trip, plus maybe a day in processing. We'll see. Maybe 4-9 days from when I put the flag up on my mailbox to when I get my next game? I might have the patience for that.

One thing that surprised me is that (for now?) your queue can only be 50 titles long. Which isn't a big deal for some people. I coerced a coworker into joining yesterday and he's much more parsimonious about the games in his queue. I'm mostly using this as a means to expose myself to games that I wouldn't buy. Kingdom Hearts, for example - I really don't like console RPGs, SquareSoft foremost amongst them. I can't say that they aren't quality products - I just don't find games with that structure entertaining. But it's buried down in the depths of my queue, and I'll get a chance to see if this game is as big of a train wreck as I've heard.

I'll probably post a review now and then of some game that really deserves comment.
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