Blockbuster to Rent PC Games

A new technology will let the video-rental giant rent out computer games.

This morning, Blockbuster announced that it has launched a trial program across 14 North American cities to test a new technology that would let the company rent out PC games to its customers. Called NetActive, this new technology will activate rented games for five evenings, after which the game expires. Customers will be able to either extend their rental period for another five days or purchase the game outright.

"Our members know that Blockbuster has one of the widest selections of console video games for rent," said Steve Lundeen, vice president of interactive merchandising for Blockbuster. "By offering this new technology to our members for the personal computer, we are demonstrating our commitment to provide the best in new entertainment products and services."

The test program will launch this month in Austin, Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Orlando, Raleigh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and San Diego. Blockbuster plans on charging US$5.99 for the first five nights and $3.99 for every subsequent five-night period. Initially, participating stores will carry games like Tomb Raider III, Asteroids 3D, Rogue Spear, Slave Zero, Sonic 3D, Darkstone, and others. Blockbuster made no comment on how much it will charge for its customers to unlock these games for unlimited play.

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