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Zune HD gaming apps feature interstitial ads

Most of the reviews of Microsoft's new portable media device, the Zune HD, have been positive -- though from a gaming perspective, one "feature" of the new hardware has drawn the ire of gadgeteers. When booting up one of the free game apps, potential players are forced to view interstitial advertisements of varying lengths. Ars Technica measured the time it took to boot up these games -- the "Goo Splat" game features a static advertisement for the Kia Soul, and takes 17 seconds to load. The Chess application includes a video ad for the vehicle, and takes an entire half-minute to boot up.

Though the Zune HD's multitouch screen and sleek visuals allow for responsive (and good-looking) gaming, we can't imagine these ads will be terribly popular. Still, the games are free, so we guess we can't look a gift horse in the lengthy, unskippable promotional material.

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