“Have you checked out GameFly?”

March 23, 2007

My lovely wife posed this question to me the other day. I was driving and talking on my cell phone (I almost NEVER do that, so calm down) and nearly crashed the car.

After I regained control of the wheel I hung up and started doing the math in my head — something I’m wont to do.

Here’s what I came up with in the “GameFly vs. Buying Games (the traditional way)” battle:

I’ve got 5 active game systems in the house –before you freak out too much about that, I’ve got three boys — 3 Nintendo DS, 1 Nintendo GameBoy Advance, and a Wii (and included GameCube functionality). Games are about $30 for the DS and GameCube, and $50 for the Wii (the Advance is my wife’s and she’s good long-term playing the $10 copy of Clue and Life boardgames).

We’ve gotten about a dozen games in DS library since December.

We’ve gotten three Wii games in the past three weeks.

Games cost about $6 to rent at the video store for 5 days.

Not including systems, we’ve (I’ve) spent about $500 on games in 4 months, and we play about 6 of them with any regularity. It doesn’t make sense to buy most games — “Mario Kart DS” being the exception that proves the rule. I bought two copies of Diddy Kong Racing DS for my oldest son and me to be able to play against each other and it sucked — totally sucked. That’s over $60 right there — or OVER THREE MONTHS OF GAMEFLY.

Oh, and another cool thing… if I completely love a game that I rent, there is a decent chance I can keep it for a significant discount off the cost of a new game.

Bottom Line:
4 months of GameFly (2 out at a time) = $88.
4 months of games in my house = $500.

While I know I won’t (hell, “can’t”) continue to spend like that, it’s a no brainer for GameFly on the tale-of-the-tape — and I can cancel at any time.

I know I’m not an “early adopter” here, but there are a ton of new people to the “video game” world with this latest generation of consoles. People like me who never would have considered a subscription service like GameFly.

I’ll let you know how it works out.

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