PlayStation Pro Logo

Sony to Provide Early PS Vita Owners Refund Over Misleading Ads

Published On: November 25, 2014 | By: PlayStation Pro Staff

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that Sony Computer Entertainment America has agreed to provide consumer refunds for publishing misleading PlayStation Vita advertisements.

Consumers who purchased a PlayStation Vita game console before June 1, 2012 may claim either a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 voucher for select PlayStation games and/or Sony services.

The charges by the FTC for the deceptive ads stemmed from the Remote Play feature on the PlayStation Vita. Sony claimed this feature would work with most PlayStation 3 games and would allow players to remotely play PS3 titles from the Vita. In reality, very few PS3 games can be remotely played on the Vita.

In addition, Sony published advertisements that said people would be able to pause a game on their PlayStation 3, and pick-up where they left off on their PS Vita. Only a handful of games could do this and even then, you couldn't resume at the exact moment where you left off. You had to reload your save file. On top of that, it wasn't always clear that you needed two copies of the same game (one for PS3 and one for Vita), according to the FTC.

The FTC also says that Sony implied that owners of the 3G version of the PS Vita could play games with other players in real-time over the built-in cellular network connectivity of the 3G model. Although you could play with other people over 3G, it was almost never in real-time. Instead, you usually had to take turns with the other player.

The advertising agency that Sony used for the PS Vita launch, Deutsch LA, also landed in hot water with the FTC. Deutsch LA employees were asked by their bosses to help promote the PS Vita before it launched in North America.

Some employees used their personal Twitter accounts to promote the PlayStation Vita over social media without disclosing they were affiliated with Sony or that they never played the Vita in the first place.

As part of the settlement, Sony and Deutsch LA are not allowed to make deceptive claims and misrepresentations of future handheld gaming devices.

So where the heck are the forms to fill out a request for your refund? There isn't one yet. The settlement is still being finalized and Sony is required to e-mail all users it can reasonably identify that bought a PS Vita before June 1, 2012. We'll let you know when those e-mails are being sent out.

Source: FTC

Also on PlayStation Pro