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Pick Of The Week DVD Pick of the week

Brave

Brave

With a courageous and impetuous heroine leading the way, Disney Pixar sets out on yet another extraordinary journey this time across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland in Brave.

Game Rental Guide

Comparing Providers – a Guide to renting Games online

The ordering and sign-up process for renting games online is exactly the same as renting DVD movie titles – compare the prices and packages of the various providers, sign up, choose the titles you want and get gaming!

Packages and Rental Periods:

Games rental companies offer packages of one to three games at home at time. All come individually packaged, and you can send them back as you finish with them, in theory allowing you to have new game rentals all the time as they constantly recycle through the post, in the same way that the DVD rental service works.

When choosing a package, it is worth considering how long you would expect to need to hang on to the game for in order to determine whether you're getting good value for money relative to buying the game or renting it.

Think how much time you have to spare before signing up for a game rental package; you might find that after signing up for one game, you complete it fairly quickly, or if you’re the type of person who plays intermittently, a one-disc rental package might be all you need. Consider evenings in with friends – you might want to be able to rent a single player action/RPG title such as Assassin's Creed, or Lost Odyssey and keep a slot free for games with a strong multiplayer element such as Halo 3, WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Call of Duty 4, or even for movie rentals. You may want to sign up for a package that provides both game and film rental options – watch films and HD titles as well as play games on your Xbox 360 and/or PlayStation 3.

Try Before You Buy/Keep It:

A number of game rental sites come with a 'Try Before You Buy' or 'Keep It' feature – say you rent out a game, love it, and are hell bent on purchasing right away. Logging in to a provider’s website and clicking the appropriate link, or sending them an email will allow you purchase the game online – the official instruction manuals and hard protective sleeve will be sent to you in the post. You can often qualify for a discount off of the RRP of the game if you purchase them in this way, with some providers offering up to 55% off certain titles. Additionally, the purchase of a title you have rented will see you automatically freeing up a slot in your subscription, allowing you to carry on renting as normal. If you feel that you would benefot from a feature like this, check to see if a retailer provides it.

Catalogue:

Although most of the big-name titles released are likely to be available from every provider, be mindful that stock sizes differ, and as such, demand for new titles can often outstrip the supply. Take it as a rule of thumb that the greater number of available titles, the greater your chances of a renting a game not being out of stock are.

DVD rental companies that specialise in online movie rental will often have a selection of games available for renting, and often you can combine films and games within packages – some companies do not distinguish between films and games, reasoning that they're both discs of roughly the same size, and the archiving process is the same.

Whilst renting films and DVDs from the same provider is undoubtedly more convenient and versatile, you might not be afforded the same degree of choice of titles platforms – some companies might only stock titles for home consoles such as the Wii, but not games for handheld machines like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, last gen platforms, or their stock of games might not be as exhaustive in terms of volume.

If you're interested in renting out games as well as movies to cater for all your entertainment needs, check to see how many titles they have available and if they cater for every format.

Free Trial Periods:

Virtually all of the major video game and movie rental companies are now offering free trial periods of their services as a way to entice new customers. Whilst in general a free trial period is exactly that – there are no obligations to join up after the period – the specifics of each providers trial period and their respective terms and conditions will differ greatly. For more info on Free Trial Periods, click here.

Price

The costs for rental services are family similar, with the packages priced at around £15-£25 a month at the very most. Packages from retailers renting DVD films as well as games are often priced at £30 at the most.

You could save money by going for a cheaper option, but consider the quality of the service of a provider before you decide based on price – is it worth saving every month if the retailer doesnt provide the titles or services you want? Free trial periods can help you make up your mind over whether a provider is worth bothering with once the 14 or 21 day period is up.

Movies and HD Titles:

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners may want to take advantage of the HD options available to them by renting out HD movie titles from the catalogues of game rental providers who stock them.

Naturally, Sony's PlayStation3 utilizes Blu-Ray technology, and as all of the game titles written for the PS3 are stored on Blu-Ray discs, the drive is capable of playing Blu-Ray film titles.

The Xbox 360 initially ran with an exterior HD DVD drive accessory that was sold separately to the console and allowed HD DVD playback through the console via a USB connection. The HD DVD drive has been discontinued following the result of the HD format war, and is no longer on sale. Microsoft have hinted that an external Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360 may well see the light of day, but nothing concrete has been announced as of yet. Even though the format war is over, you can still rent out titles both formats from DVD rental companies.