Game rentals was a past of my gaming habits when I had my Sega Master System (shut up, Nintendo only really started to invest in Brazil with the N64) and I would always rent some games on weekends. But nowadays rentals in my country is pretty much dead. I haven't rented something like movies or games since forever. And here it is something that publishers and platform makers are losing a huge opportunity with. Allowing digital rentals.
Imagine you can rent a game via digital stores like PSN or Steam? In a perfect world, you would pay 3.99(24 hours), 6.99(48 hours) and 9.99(72 hours, games whose buying price is lower than rental prices couldn't be rented). Download the game (the clock only starts to count when you load the game for the first time), play the game and when the time is up, get offered to buy the game.
Again, if companies where smart, they would allow you to buy rented games at a discount, maybe even the total value of the rental. PS+ (and other similar services) would give you discount on rentals. It would be a win for everyone involved.
Players could try out games without losing time and money. Like the game, buy at discount, don't like it, let the discount expire. You could rent multiplayer games for just a weekend party (and party games for parties) and save money. The publisher, developers and stores would receive a bit of money anyway, cutting out middleman like GameStop out of the equation and profiting more. New IPs and mid-tier games would have a better chance to sell.
So, in my opinion, I can't see how digital rentals would be a bad idea. More money for game makers, players can save money to buy the games worth keeping(and maybe developers would try harder to make games worth keeping). That is why I defend digital rentals.