It looks as if it’s time for a refund from Sony. SCEA, has settled with the FTC over charges that it produced false and misleading advertisement during the Vita’s launch campaign from late 2011 to early 2012.
Sony will be providing refunds to PS Vita customers who purchased the device prior to June 1, 2012.
If you are eligible you can claim either a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 voucher for select games and services. Sony will email eligible customers after the settlement is finalized. The latter is expected for most customers, as the refund process for cash could take up to over 60 days.
The FTC alleges that some of Sony’s claims about the Vita were misleading, including that the Vita “would revolutionize gaming mobility” by enabling remote play and cross-platform play with the PS3, allowing players to start a game on PS3 and finish it on Vita.
Sony is barred from similar advertising practices in the future, as a result of the claim.
FTC’s official stance on the matter:
“Sony claimed, for example, that PS Vita users could pause any PS3 game at any time and continue to play the game on their PS Vita from where they left off. This feature, however, was only available for a few PS3 games, and the pause-and-save capability described in the ads varied significantly from game to game….
Sony’s PS Vita ads falsely implied that consumers who owned the 3G version of the device (which cost an extra $50 plus monthly fees) could engage in live, multi-player gaming through a 3G network. In fact, consumers could not engage in live, multiplayer gaming…. In reality, most PS3 games were not remote playable on the PS Vita.”
FTC went on to say that Sony’s advertising agency, Deutsch LA, knew that the ads contained misleading information, and it exacerbated the misinformation by asking its own employees to hype the Vita on social media, without disclosing that they were connected to the agency or Sony. Deutsch LA is barred from similar conduct in the future as a result of the investigation.
“As we enter the year’s biggest shopping period, companies need to be reminded that if they make product promises to consumers – as Sony did with the ‘game changing’ features of its PS Vita – they must deliver on those pledges,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, says.
“The FTC will not hesitate to act on behalf of consumers when companies or advertisers make false product claims.”
How do you feel about the situation with sony? And if you qualify for a refund will you claim it? Let us know in the comments!
More by Kenay Peterson: