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WipEout HD in-game ads return, still affect load times


Fans of Sony's blistering anti-grav racer WipEout HD will no doubt recall the game's update to version 2.0 back in August. That's because one of the additions came in the form of advertisements that would play during race loading screens. Having to see ads in a game you've paid full price for is one thing, the fact that they nearly doubled load times is another. Thankfully, Sony responded to an outpouring of ire over the ads by yanking them. Well, as we were warned last month, they're back.

The 2.10 update for WipEout HD boldly proclaims that "Changes have been made so that any adverts shown during loading screens will not adversely affect the loading times" upon first launch. OK, ads are back, but at least they don't increase load times -- right? Not so fast. When loading a particular race, we perceived some degree of delay while the ad (in this case for Fat Princess) played. Wanting to make sure it wan't just in our ads-in-our-games-can-leave-now-please heads, we timed it. Lo and behold, the same course loads in 16.9 seconds without the ad and 21.7 with it -- an almost five second difference.

The results were more or less the same for every track we tried, with smaller venues loading faster, naturally. So, despite assurances otherwise, load times are being affected by the re-instated ads. We're working to get in touch with Sony and the game's developer, SCEE Studio Liverpool, to find out exactly what gives.

[Thanks, Ken!]

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