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Direct2Drive Now Offers Digital Rentals

By - Source: D2D | B 20 comments
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PC gamers can now rent various titles from Direct2Drive.

Friday PC gaming digital distributor (and Steam rival) Direct2Drive (D2D) announced that it's now offering rentals to PC gamers, charging a mere $5 for five hours of play. If the renter likes the game and decides to purchase the full digital copy, the $5 will be knocked off the original pricetag.

"One of the many reasons I’m proud to work for D2D is the on-going commitment to better serve our customers and followers," reads the D2D blog. "Trust me if you could be a fly on the wall during our many brain-storming sessions you’ll walk away satisfied in knowing we take all your feedback to heart."

The first set of titles to fall within the new rental service is the original F.E.A.R., Divinity 2, Grid and Silent Hill: Homecoming.

The D2D rental deal is a bit pricey given other offerings by competing digital distributors. Steam doesn't offer a rental service whatsoever; rather, it will occasionally allow Steam members to play a select title for free over the weekend. OnLive offers a better, cheaper "rental" service at $5.99 for three days and $8.99 for five days.

Is $5 for five hours a bit steep? It would make sense to charge PC gamers a daily rate at the very least. Five days for $5 seems more reasonable, but then again many renters may actually complete the game in that timeframe, defeating D2D's plan to hook customers into purchasing the entire game outright.

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  • 6 Hide
    XD_dued , January 26, 2011 11:51 PM
    I must admit, I actually really like this idea. Hopefully steam will pick up something similar :) 
  • 1 Hide
    the_krasno , January 26, 2011 11:52 PM
    I think that the pricing should depend on the game. For some games 5 hours is enough to like or not like it, but for some with a steep learning curve a week might not be enough!
  • 0 Hide
    the_krasno , January 26, 2011 11:52 PM
    Also, Steam has free weekends and crazy sales discount every week.
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • -6 Hide
    niloluiz , January 27, 2011 12:37 AM
    PS: This comment system sucks...
  • 0 Hide
    niloluiz , January 27, 2011 1:03 AM
    Five HOURS? Ridiculous.... this is basically a "paid demo" proposal which doesn't make any sense from the customer perspective. For D2D however it is a way to increase sales by hooking some people with this pseudo-rental offer....
  • 3 Hide
    JDFan , January 27, 2011 1:26 AM
    And does the 5 hours include the download and installation time as well ???
  • 0 Hide
    stm1185 , January 27, 2011 1:29 AM
    Just enough time to play through a COD single player. I might try it for some games.
  • 3 Hide
    formin , January 27, 2011 3:42 AM
    Give em 3 full days to play as much as they want ...
  • 4 Hide
    proxy711 , January 27, 2011 6:01 AM
    Last D2D game i bought had me DL it thru steam it made me laugh.
  • 0 Hide
    dib , January 27, 2011 8:41 AM
    Great now we have to PAY for a demo version. To top that it won't even work for 30 days. I guess new generations will think this is great and better than nothing now that companies have stopped making demos of a lot of the newer games for PCs.
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , January 27, 2011 9:47 AM
    5 hr test period is fine imo.

    How can TH compare prices for a real game download service with a streamed one where you don't download the whole client but rather get a(often poor quality) rendered stream on a service thats also are prone to input and/or video lag due to the nature of the Internet (and usually not an overly generous share of the server resources).

    If you get the whole game your allowed to REALLY see how YOUR hardware are going to present the game and its a far more valuable.
  • 0 Hide
    demonhorde665 , January 27, 2011 11:06 AM
    i wouldnt say that D2D is a steam rival ... you see rival suggest that they are on teh same level field and offer teh same service , and let's face it D2D is not match for steam ,

    Competitor sure , but rival no d2d does not rival steam nor can it ever give steam any real threat until it offers the same capabilities of steam , that being not only a store , but also a social network in of it's self as well as making it's self a DRM instead of offering digital games with secueom/tags ect ect. DRM (that usually goes ape shit on digital versions of games) lastly D2D jsut doens'tofer teh saving that steam does , in comparions what few sales it does have , look like a sad joke compared to steams numerous year around sales that drop prices drastically
  • -1 Hide
    demonhorde665 , January 27, 2011 11:11 AM
    P.S. 5 bucks for 5 hours is NOT reasonable... geezus i rember back in teh old day when block buster was still useful , they only charged about 3 bucks for 1-2 day rental on a game .. to say 5 bucks for 5 hours is reasonable is like saying , 5 bucks half a slice of pizza is reasonable when the whole pizza cost only 10 bucks.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2011 12:11 PM
    I dont think when most people start a brand new game for the first time that they sit there staring at their screen for the next 5 consecutive hours, no matter how good it is. I usually take breaks, maybe play for 1-2 hours, get something to eat/drink, and come back later. I might also spend the first hour goofing around, getting used to the game, experimenting with the game physics or whatever, looking for bugs. 5 hours is a lot of pressure to immediately get things done. Paying for it is ridiculous. As someone already mention, this is like paying to play a damn demo. Why the hell would I do that?

    $5 for 3 days, or maybe even 24 hour pass is more reasonable.
  • 1 Hide
    zak_mckraken , January 27, 2011 2:17 PM
    5$ for five hours is a bit steep, but since it's knocked off the price if you decide to buy it, it evens things out. It's merely a 5 hours demo for 5$ if you don't decide to buy it. It's way better than shelling out 60$ for a game and regretting it after 2 hours!
  • 0 Hide
    malphas , January 27, 2011 2:35 PM
    I've never played a demo that lasted five hours without deliberately milking it out. This isn't a bad idea, some games' singleplayer campaign lasts less than five hours, and if this idea was widespread it might even cause developers to start making longer games again in an attempt to get people to buy their games rather than rent.

    The key point for me is that if you then buy the game you get a $5 reduction, essentially then rather than buy games you're interested in, as is the case now, you could rent every one beforehand for $5 then only pay full price for the ones that are actually worth your cash. This could motivate developers to work harder, since they wouldn't have the same swathes of people buying bad or mediocre games on hype alone.
  • 0 Hide
    roxim5 , January 27, 2011 3:43 PM
    I wonder how long it will take hackers to find away around the 5 hour limitation... effectively getting games for $5.
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , January 27, 2011 6:37 PM
    roxim5I wonder how long it will take hackers to find away around the 5 hour limitation... effectively getting games for $5.

    Those hackers already know how to hack the game for free. I don't think they'll pay 5$ to be semi-legit.
  • 0 Hide
    roxim5 , January 27, 2011 7:10 PM
    zak_mckrakenThose hackers already know how to hack the game for free. I don't think they'll pay 5$ to be semi-legit.

    True, I wasn't thinking about that. Pretty pointless then.
  • 0 Hide
    Benihana , January 29, 2011 6:05 AM
    I'd rather just play XboX online and pay the monthly fee for that. 'Least then I'd be able to play single player all I want.