Sony to Provide Refunds Over Misleading Vita Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has charged Sony Computer Entertainment over misleading ads regarding the PS Vita system, which is requiring Sony to compensate early adopters of the system.

The FTC cites certain marketing messages in the early Vita advertising such as remote play with PS3 and the 3G Vita’s mobile networking. The remote play argument is as follows:

“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. 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.”

The 3G mobile networking was also claimed to provide live multiplayer through 3G, which the FTC say is not true. An additional claim against the Deutsch LA company also states that the marketing for Vita from that company used the hashtag “#gamechanger” irresponsibly, along with employees posting positive tweets with the hashtag without disclosing their relationship to Deutsch LA or Sony.

Sony would have to reimburse all who bought the system prior to June 1, 2012 with a $25 cash or credit refund or a $50 PSN voucher. Also, they will be prohibited from making similar claims in the future. When the settlement is completed, users will not need to take any action, but will instead be contacted by Sony.