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What is LOVEFiLM? An online rental service for games and DVDs.
Price: Subscription plans include:
- £7.99 - 2 DVDs at a time, up to 4 rentals a month
- £12.99 - 2 DVDs at a time, unlimited rentals
- £15.99 - 3 DVDs at a time, unlimited rentals
- £14.99 - 2 DVDs/games at a time, unlimited rentals
- £18.99 - 3 DVDs/games at a time, unlimited rentals
How does it work?
- You pay a monthly subscription based on the number of discs you can have on loan at a time.
- Via LOVEFiLM's website, you create a list of films/games you'd like to rent. You look through the online catalogue, click on the ones you want and give them a high, medium or low priority according to how desperate you are to receive them. You can choose any game from any console that they stock.
- LOVEFiLM sends the discs nearest to the top of your list that they have available.
- You watch/play them and then send them back in individual, pre-paid envelopes when you're done. You can keep discs as long as you like.
- When LOVEFiLM gets a disc back, they send another from your list.
Items stocked: LOVEFiLM's DVD collection is vast and comprehensive. Their range of Blu-ray discs is growing rapidly as more are released. An HD DVD selection remains for the time being.
Along with films and TV series, LOVEFiLM also stocks PS2, PS3, PSP, DS, GameCube, Wii, Xbox and Xbox 360 games. Older games may not be available and certain games which require extra controllers, like Guitar Hero, can't be rented.
Comments: I've covered the basics of online games rental elsewhere. I even did a mini-review of LOVEFiLM. A couple of things have changed since then, however:
- LOVEFiLM's selection of games has vastly improved. Pretty much all new releases on current consoles are now available. Supply seems to be good, too. I've received popular titles like Crackdown, Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and God of War II as soon as I've put them to the top of my list. Even Grand Theft Auto IV only took a couple of tries.
- Multiple lists are in operation. It's possible to have more than one rental list and specify which list your next rental is to be selected from. You could have lists for action films, comedy, TV series, etc, and closely manage what you get to watch. Personally, just being able to differentiate between games and films is all I need - it means I don't have to have a separate subscription with a games rental company any more.
On my package, I can have three discs out on rental at once. I've got a list for games and a list for films. At the moment, I have two discs from the films list and one from the games list. If I send back a film, I get a film in return. If I send back a game, I get a game in return. A quick click on the website is all that's required, however, to make sure that the next time I return a film, I'll get a game back (or vice versa).
Combining this experience and competence with the new improvements means that LOVEFiLM is now also a serious consideration when looking for a games rental service. The choice of games is there and it's at last possible to guarantee the ratio of games to DVDs received, rather than just shoving games to the top of the queue and hoping.
Conclusion: Finally, a combined online DVD and game rental service which is both easy to use and at a reasonable price.
- Very efficient.
- Good customer service.
- Decent price.
- Excellent DVD selection.
- Wide choice of games.
- Combined game/DVD packages offer great flexibility.
- No GBA games.
- The usual online rental quibbles - you don't have exact control over what you're going to get and you're at the mercy of the Royal Mail.
(Also, check out my tips on how to get the most from online rental).
Conflict of interest warning!: Click through from the ad below and take up a free trial with LOVEFiLM and I'll earn some money, which doesn't make this an entirely disinterested review. On the flip side, however, LOVEFiLM is the rental service I use myself, the trial is free, so is this site, LOVEFiLM is actually good and I have overheads, you know. So don't complain too much. (You can always type the domain name into your browser just to spite me, if you really want.)