Blockbuster (BBI) is getting ready to launch its new online video game rental service in an effort to compete better with Netflix (NFLX). The company said today that it’ll start a pilot program in the Cleveland area on June 30, aiming for nationwide coverage by the end of the year.
Blockbuster plans to charge an extra monthly fee — unspecified — to allow its online rental subs access to Wii, PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360 games. Subscribers will only be charged during billing cycles that they have rented games.
This obviously won’t save Blockbuster’s shrinking retail business, but it could definitely be an advantage over Netflix for some subscribers. Netflix has never talked about adding game rentals to its business, but it could obviously do so if it ever needed to.