PlayStation Vita customers can expect a refund as a result of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ruling today. The payout is a part of a settlement with the FTC where Sony Computer Entertainment America was charged with intentionally misleading customers about the capabilities of the PlayStation Vita in their ad campaigns.
Once the settlement is finalized, Sony will email anybody who purchased a PlayStation Vita before June 1, 2012 and inform them of their eligibility to receive either a $25 cash or credit refund or a $50 voucher for select games and Sony merchandise.
Just how misleading was Sony’s ad campaign for the PlayStation Vita? The FTC pointed to MLB 12: The Show and how customers were only able to save their progress to the PlayStation Vita after finishing all nine innings on their PlayStation 3 first and that in order to even utilize the aforementioned feature, that the customer would have had to purchase the game twice: one PS3 version and one PS Vita version. The reality that Vita owners faced fell much shorter than the lofty expectations set by Sony’s ad campaign which boasted the PlayStation Vita’s ability to pause any PS3 game and continue playing on the Vita with their “cross-save” and “cross platform gaming” features.
The seriousness of the FTC’s resolve to hold companies accountable was emphasized by Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and her remarks on Sony ruling, “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 — that they must deliver on those pledges. The FTC will not hesitate to act on behalf of consumers when companies or advertisers make false product claims.”
Are there any PlayStation Vita owners who will be impacted by the FTC ruling against Sony? Did you think your experiences with the PlayStation Vita warranted having charges brought against Sony? Do you think the ruling is harsh or do you feel that Sony got off with a slap on the wrist? It will certainly be interesting to see whether rulings such as today’s decision to hold Sony accountable for misleading customers will have a ripple effect across other industries.