As if ads in games weren’t bad already, a new patent has been found that would allow Sony to display ads during any games on their PlayStation platforms. The patent in question, is for an ad pop-up that would be followed by a quick rewind, making it so the player actually never misses any element of the game.
For example, while playing a session of DC Universe Online, the player would be treated to an ad for soda while underneath the game was progressing business as usual. After the ad, however, the game would rewind to before the ad was displayed, no harm no foul.
Some believe that with this new technology, or software, Sony would be capable of providing free to play entertainment on their many consoles. At this point they are the only member of the big three that has shown an active interest in the MMO genre with the aforementioned DCUO (which just so happens to have gone F2P) and Final Fantasy 11, but they still need to make their money somewhere.
If this patent were to be used for something it would hopefully be to help circumvent the costs of a free-to-play MMO rather than as an annoyance during a LittleBigPlanet or Uncharted session. Sure, the concept of rewinding the game, and acting as if no ad really was displayed is clever, but it doesn’t take away from the intrusion of marketing. Many games have found more unique ways to accommodate advertising, but those were games that were already retailing for $60.
We will have to wait and see whether Sony does anything with this patent, but our guess is that gamers won’t be seeing it any time soon. While they won’t talk about it, Sony is in the midst of beginning a new console cycle, one that could be extremely expensive, and if they want to get the fan base on their side they’d best avoid hitting them with intrusive advertising just yet.
What do you think about a video game pop-up ad that rewinds the game upon completion? If this means more free-to-play games for Sony platforms would you be interested in accepting the ads?