Sony forced to pay up for deceiving Vita buyers

3 min read


The PlayStation Vita is a pretty fantastic gaming device… even if it is perhaps a little short of games. Unfortunately when Sony was marketing the thing they sold it as something quite a bit greater than it ended up being. A number of promised features were either misrepresented, or wholly absent from the console – leading the US’ Federal Trade Commission to take umbrage. As a result, Sony has to cough up to the system’s early adopters.

Major features were missing , like the touted cross-save – Where players would be able to pick up the Vita and continue playing where they left off on the PS3. It was advertised as being available for most games – and ended up only being used in a  handful of games. The adverts also failed to mention that players would have to purchase the same game for each platform in those instances.

Sony also suggested that you’d be able to play online multiplayer using the 3G version of the console, and that didn’t quite materialise either. As a result, Sony will now have to give early US adopters $25 in cash or credit, or $50 in merchandise.

“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,” FTC director of consumer protection Jessica Rich said. “The FTC will not hesitate to act on behalf of consumers when companies or advertisers make false product claims.”

It really is a pity that much of what would have made the Vita awesome just didn’t pan out. For Sony’s part, they think the Vita is just plain awesome.

“We believe that PlayStation Vita is the most advanced and powerful handheld video game device on the market, and the ultimate companion for a PlayStation 4 system,” a Sony spokesperson told VentureBeat. “The advertising at issue in the FTC inquiry went to market more than two years ago at PS Vita’s launch in February 2012. 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 FTC’s inquiry in order to focus on the PlayStation 4’s momentum into this holiday, where PlayStation Vita continues to play an important role. PlayStation has always been and will continue to be a brand built around our consumers, with a mission to deliver the best gaming experiences as our top priority. To that end, our settlement with the FTC will offer qualifying PS Vita owners the unique opportunity to get additional value and content for their handheld system.”

Last Updated: November 26, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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