Sony will be refunding American customers that bought the PS Vita console before June 1, 2012 because of its use of deceiving ads that led consumers to believe the console was equipped with features it didn’t actually have.
Sony Computer Entertainment America has come to a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in which it will give those who bought the console before June 2012 either a $25 cash refund or a $50 voucher for video games or services.
According to the FTC, ads (created by Deutsch LA) promoting the Sony product gave the false impression that the PS Vita was capable of being used to remotely play games on a PlayStation 3. However, this was not the case, as most PS3 games could not be run on the PS Vita.
The FTC said:
“For example, with respect to ‘MLB 12: The Show,’ consumers could only save the game to the PS Vita after finishing the entire nine-inning game on their PS3. In addition, Sony failed to inform consumers that to use this feature, purchasers had to buy two versions of the same game—one for their PS3 and one for the PS Vita.”
The PS Vita cost roughly $250 when it launched.
According to PCWorld, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment in Tokyo said in an email:
“Although we have a strong difference of opinion with the FTC as to the message that PS Vita purchasers took from that advertising, we decided to settle the FTCs inquiry in order to focus on the PlayStation 4s momentum into this holiday, where PlayStation Vita continues to play an important role.”
The settlement “will offer qualifying PS Vita owners the unique opportunity to get additional value and content for their handheld system”.
Sony has been prohibited from making other misleading advertising claims.