Sony settles over deceptive PlayStation Vita ads

Early adopters can get some money back

Following Federal Trade Commission charges over false advertising in late 2011 and early 2012, Sony has agreed to give consumers who purchased a PlayStation Vita before June 1, 2012 “either a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 merchandise voucher for select video games, and/or services.” If you’re eligible, expect to receive a notice from the company via email.

Specifically, the FTC charged Sony with making false claims about the PS Vita’s cross-platform support and 3G functionality:

  • With remote play, PS Vita users cannot easily access their PS3 games on the PS Vita. Most PS3 games are not remote playable on the PS Vita. Respondent did not specifically design the PS3 system to support remote play functionality.
  • With remote play, PS Vita users cannot easily access Killzone 3 and other similar, data-rich PS3 games on the PS Vita. Respondent never enabled remote play on its Killzone 3 title, and very few, if any, other PS3 games of similar size and complexity are remote play compatible.
  • PS Vita users are not able to pause any PS3 game they are playing on their PS3 consoles at any point in the game, and continue to play that game where they left off on the PS Vita. This cross platform gaming feature is only available for a limited number of PS3 game titles, and the pause and save feature varies significantly by game.
  • PS Vita users who own the 3G version are not able to engage in live, multiplayer gaming through a 3G network. PS Vita users are restricted to asynchronous or “turn-based” multiplayer gaming with the 3G version of the PS Vita.

On top of those aforementioned refunds, Sony is barred from making “similarly misleading advertising claims in the future.” The FTC also alleged that the advertising agency Deutsch LA misled with its “gamechanger” hashtag on Twitter. A company-wide email asked employees to help with the Vita ad campaign, and staff posted positive tweets about the PS Vita from personal Twitter accounts without disclosing their relationship with Deutsch or Sony. Scruffy is not amused.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.