GameFly is essentially the Netflix of physical game rentals, allowing you to rent up to two titles at a time by mail and keep them as long as you want. GameFly lets you keep any of your rented games permanently for a small extra fee, and sells both new and used games for good prices. The company also offers GameFly Streaming, a $10 per month cloud service that lets you play dozens of digital titles on your Amazon Fire TV as well as on Samsung and LG Smart TVs.
GameFly has a huge selection of over 8,000 titles. This pretty much makes them the “Blockbuster of Video Games”. They also have pretty fast delivery times so I wasn’t waiting too long to receive a game, though I live in a downtown area so the mail maybe faster here. I also didn’t have any trouble getting any game I wanted, though I have heard that some people have had to wait to get newer games. A good idea is to book as many games as you can well in advance so you are never waiting for games and are getting your money’s worth
Gamefly has games for every major console currently on the market including: Playstation 3 (PS3), Playstation 2 (PS2), Playstation Portable (PSP), XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, Game Cube, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.
Samsung is the latest company to hitch its wagon to the streaming service and joins Amazon in partnering with GameFly; the popular U.S gaming and movie rental service. By including GameFly’s streaming service with their Smart TVs Samsung is looking to make its televisions into a one stop shop for all your entertainment needs.
The easiest example of streaming out there today is Netflix. You choose your film or television show, hit play and then whatever you have chosen comes from the Netflix servers to your device; be it your console, tablet or PC. You don’t own that content, you’re just paying a fee to Netflix to watch things from their library.
That is a solution that companies are tinkering with for gaming as well, with GameFly offering the “Netflix of games” to their customers. It’s a lofty promise, and they’re far off being that successful or comprehensive.
Many companies have tried to go down this route; with OnLive being the first to try, and subsequently fail, Sony experimenting with Playstation Now and even Microsoft talking about potential streaming options as time progresses.
GameFly streaming is starting to get rolled out across more countries following its limited launch in smaller territories earlier this year on Amazon TVs. The move to partner with Samsung, says GameFly CEO David Hodess, “is a great way to bring GameFly Streaming to consumers across the globe.”
A quick browse of the GameFly streaming website won’t give you much information here, but the company isn’t offering a Netflix style pricing model. Instead of a fixed monthly fee you’ll instead be paying for a “bundle” of games for a fixed price, which starts at $7 a month. These bundles tend to be broken up into themes; a LEGO bundle for kids, a Hardcore bundle with more mature titles etc. They’re also offering a “gamer pack” for a slightly higher fee that comes with 16 titles.
GameFly streaming work on Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV. If you already own one such device then the cost isn’t as prohibitive, if not then you could be looking at a massive outlay. It’s also worth noting that Samsung Smart TVs can also run Playstation Now.
The minimum speed sits at 5Mbps, but for HD quality (which it should be stressed rests at 720p rather than 1080p) then it’s recommended you have at least an 8.5Mbps connection.
An “optimal gaming experience,” though, will require a wired connection of 10Mbps or higher – though GameFly itself don’t make it clear what constitutes an “optimal gaming experience.”
The games themselves run at 30fps (or frames per second) regardless of title, resolution or bandwidth. That will be an enormous stumbling block to many gamers who are used to certain titles and genres running at 60fps on their consoles or PCs.
For those of you used to things like fighting games or shooters the difference will be extremely noticeable (and the lack of FPS titles in GameFly’s current streaming library is extremely telling).
In addition to the TV, a solid internet connection and falling into one of the supported regions you’ll need an input device to operate the games themselves. Thankfully the list is quite comprehensive and covers common controllers like the Logitech F310, F710 and the Xbox wired controller.
- You have the option to save money by renting video games and movies when compared to purchasing the games and movies at full price.
- You have a huge selection of games and movies that are available for rent – over 8,000 games from leading gaming consoles including PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U.
- Shipping is free and fast – there are five shipping locations throughout the United States (Kansas City, Los Angeles, Pittsburg, Seattle, and Tampa).
- You have the option to keep the games for as long as you want.
- You can keep the game by purchasing it at a discounted price.
- You have to wait for games that are recently released, but it all depends on when you add the game to your queue.
- Because thousands of other members rent and play the same games, not all games will arrive in the perfect condition. Some games may show signs of wear and tear and may not even work.
- Swapping out games is slow. The turnaround for returning a game and then getting a new one takes about a week.
- The streaming feature is limited to select devices.