MARCH 4, 2009 • GameFly installed its first G-Box rental kiosk in the Student Union building at Texas Tech university in Lubbock. The automated kiosk works on the same model as GameFly’s mail-based business. Hundreds of PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii games are available for students with a credit or debit card. Games for the Sony and Microsoft platforms rent for $2.49, and Wii titles for $1.99. The kiosks also support a rent-to-buy option. GameFly says it will install similar kiosks across the U.S. in partnership with Barnes and Noble college bookstores.

Impact: Automated kiosks are omnipresent in Japan, where consumers can buy a dizzying amount of goods without a human involved. GameFly’s entry onto college campuses makes a tremendous amount of sense. The online rental retailer often gets criticism for slow turn-around of games, which automated kiosks should alleviate. What’s more, many students have weird hours and lack reliable transportation. These conditions should make the kiosks popular enough to add appreciably to GameFly’s revenue.