Free Video Game Rentals This Week at Redbox

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Out of the blue (err, red, I suppose), the ubiquitous DVD- and video game-rental kiosk service Redbox has announced five days in a row of free video game rentals.

From Sunday, February 26, to Thursday, March 1, Redbox customers get the first day’s rental free for a choice of 30 different video games reserved in advance online. The games can be played on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii consoles, and available titles include “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3″ and “Just Dance 3.”

Video games usually rent for $2 a day, so the freebie represents a $2 value. After the first day, customers are charged the usual rate of $2 per day.

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To get the free day’s rental, video games must be reserved online, and a credit card number must be included in order to cover payment above and beyond that first day.

[UPDATE: It is also possible to reserve a game, with the first day free, through Redbox's iPhone and Android apps.]

This seems like a pretty smart promotion from Redbox, which is known far more for movies than video games. Not only will the offer build awareness that the kiosks also rent games, but the odds seem pretty good that customers taking advantage of the freebie will wind up paying something to Redbox.

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If you have a new video game at your disposal, after all, it’s fairly likely that you’ll want to play it for more than one day.

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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