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FTC calls out Sony on false advertising for Vita, demands payback for early adopters

Sony has been ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to compensate early adopters of the PlayStation Vita because of advertising that was deemed misleading with regards to the system’s capabilities. According to the settlement, Sony will reward customers who purchased the Vita before June 1, 2012 either $25 cash or a $50 voucher for “select video games, and/or services.”

The FTC’s complaint springs from deceptive claims made about the Vita’s “game changing” capabilities advertised when the system launched in the U.S. in 2012. The advertisements in question overstated the system’s remote play, cross-save, cross-platform, and 3G networked multiplayer functionality. In a second complaint, the FTC also implicated Sony’s marketing firm Deutsch LA for facilitating and executing the deceptive marketing campaign.

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According to the complaint, “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,” the FTC says. “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. 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.”

Sony is required to reach out via e-mail to all customers who purchased a Vita before June 1, 2015, so keep an eye on your inbox if you eligible and want to cash in on Sony’s malfeasance.