IGN-owned PC game download service Direct2Drive has introduced a new rental service allowing for time-limited play on the full versions of select titles.
For $5, Direct2Drive users can get five hours of play time with the complete versions of Silent Hill: Homecoming, Grid, Divinity 2 and F.E.A.R., though the service hopes to expand this selection in the near future.
If the renter decides to purchase the full version of the game, that $5 rental price will be counted towards the purchase price, which ranges from $10 for F.E.A.R. to $49.95 for Silent Hill Homecoming among the currently available titles.
The rental program provides a new option for digital retailers and consumers looking for something between a content-limited free demo and a full purchase.
Streaming game service Onlive offers three- and five-day unlimited play rentals of selected titles for prices ranging from $5 to $9.
Many casual game developers already offer free, one-hour demos of the full version of their games to try to attract purchasers, and some Facebook games offer a limited number of free plays per day, with a microtransaction purchase required to play more frequently.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 service Game Room offers single-play trials of its selection of classic games for 40 Microsoft points ($0.50).
Full versions of legacy titles are often deeply discounted on digital download services through sales designed to value-conscious purchasers.