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Sony Patents Way To Interrupt Games With Adverts

Sony has a new patent that is sure to get gamers excited: a method of displaying adverts mid-game, by pausing the action and throwing a commercial at you before resuming.

Filed back in June of 2011 and known as "Advertisement Scheme for use with Interactive Content," the patent is said to not just abruptly halt gameplay - as that would be silly - it gives you a warning that it's going to stop soon. Further interruption.

From there, the game will pause, the advert will play, followed by another short warning that gameplay will soon restart - it might even rewind a few seconds to allow you to catch up to where you were.

Presumably this sort of technology would only be used on free-to-play games, or on arcade titles which aren't sold with a full retail price tag. I can't imagine gamers being too happy if their £40 game is interrupted by advertisements.

However, there was a time when 30 second YouTube adverts seemed like they would never materialise, but they're here now and here to stay. There's even adverts in the middle of video on some streaming sites.

This isn't the first time in-game advertising has been tried and unfortunately for everyone involved it's almost always immersion breaking. Take Battlefield 2142, one of the first games to ship with built-in adverts. Nothing takes you out of your mechanical walker stomping action, like a billboard telling you about the latest Core 2 Duo processor from Intel.

Source: Patent Office

Dipping his toes into almost everything that could be labeled 'nerdy' in his free time, Jon has been writing about technology for over half a decade. While mainly focusing on PC hardware thoughout this time, today he's more varied, covering everything from gaming to general electronics, industry perspectives and consoles. As well as writing for different sites, Jon enjoys wargaming, reading and PC gaming, hoping to balance out these geeky pastimes with fire spinning and MMA.