Apparently Netflix is changing its name and some of its game. Literally. Lost in the hullabaloo of Netflix spinning off its DVD business is the news that the DVD-by-mail company is going to start renting video games as well, in the process competing with the likes of Gamestop, Amazon and others. This was part of the email Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix sent to the customers this morning:
Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow.
If anything, this could be an incremental boost for the snail mail business. Unlike movies, books and music, the shift to digital delivery of the classic video games has seen a much slower ramp up, though I do believe that over next few years that will change, particularly as we experience an increase average bandwidth into homes to over 50 megabits per second.