Sony’s ads shouldn’t play games

handheld deviceIf a company promises a new and innovative handheld gaming console, you’d expect the features to work as described in their ads, right? According to Sony’s settlement with the FTC, announced today, that wasn’t the case with ads for the PlayStation Vita. And now the company will offer partial refunds to eligible buyers.

In 2012, Sony and its advertising agency, Deutsch LA, Inc., promoted the PS Vita on the internet and in promotional videos, TV commercials and stores. Ads said you would “Never stop playing” and showed users enjoying the “remote play,” “cross save” and real-time 3G features. But the FTC says that despite the ads’ promises, customers really couldn’t use remote play to run most PS3 games on the PS Vita — not even Killzone 3, the popular PS3 game Sony featured in its promotional video explaining remote play. And the claims that you could “cross save” by pausing a game on one system and resuming it on another? Sony didn’t tell that you actually had to have two copies of the same game for this feature to work. What about the live, multiplayer game sessions that looked exciting in the ads? The PS Vita couldn’t do that, even if you bought the 3G version.

The main point? According to the FTC, the PS Vita ads deceived people into buying a product that didn’t work as promised. What’s a bit different about the settlement being announced today is that it’s not just Sony on the hook. The FTC says Sony’s advertising agency, Deutsch, knew or should have known that the PS Vita didn’t work as advertised — yet they created the ads anyway. Not only that, according to the FTC, Deutsch had its employees tweet about the PS Vita from their personal Twitter accounts, but didn’t tell their employees to mention that they worked for Sony’s ad agency — something required by the FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines.

So what’s next? Well, Sony and Deutsch have agreed not do this kind of thing again. And Sony will give money back to people who bought the PS Vita, if they’re eligible. The process for requesting refunds has not been determined.

Tagged with: advertising, game, refunds
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Finally!!! I remember that ridiculous commercial when it aired (where the kid was playing Killzone on a roof) - and remember being very disappointed when it didn't work.

I remember that commercial that was one of the things that sold me on getting one.

So what if you had a vita and sold it do we still the refund. our are they gonna refund people who activated there vitas before that date

So what if you lost your vita and got a new one would you still get the 50 or 20$. how would that work would they check what date you active your vita under your psn account?

Dammit, Sony!

I would like a refund/reimbursement, it'll be nice to know when that becomes available!

bummer I don't have the original receipt to my vita I don't believe.

I was told to use Adobe Flash Player to get help from a recurring problem. the game company directed me to the Adobe Flash player . "( Click here)"was requested.Upon contact ,There were several selections for Adobe Flasher.The phone number I used was not Adobe Flash Player, even though the Tech said they were Adobe flash player. I was charged $120.00 ( refunded from Visa). I had my computer shared by the tech who recorded all my records. the Company was All day Tech not Adobe Flash Player . Thank you Bill

How is this a reasonable solution? The consoles cost $250 new, and for many people that feature was way more than 10% of the reason they bought one.

Yeah Im with you on that buddy

How about Canadian consumers of the product?

i think the confidential exclusivity agreement between AT&T and SONY should be severed also. AT&T and sony should be straight forward and tell us how long this agreement is good for. with the CITA establishing voluntary guidelines requiring AT&T to post their unlocking policy publicly, they don't seem to be doing that for the few of us that bought 3g versions. i paid full price for the playstation vita , i deserve a free unlock just like someone stupid enough to pay full price for a amazon fire phone or a Facebook phone.

Bah.... I bought Ps vita in 2013 thinking that I can play my PS3 games in it.
But I can ´t take the compensation because I bought in 2013??
laws....

Early adopters should be allowed a full refund for this breach of consumer trust! Sony knew what they were doing, they just didn't care.

Sony being a big company that it is should offer a bigger refund than 50/20. For the price we paid for the 3G Vita and on top of that had to buy certain games to be able to use features was too much money spend to find out they really didn't work. On top of that subscribing to PS network, like I said Sony should give a bigger refund. They can afford it!!!!!

i would like a refund and keep my ps vita sony lies to much

How about the early adopters whom bought the bundle Vita, which was to come with a download of Super Stardust Delta. I remember many people being confused when they found out the system came with a LIMITED TIME COUPON FOR A DISCOUNT ON THE GAME instead of a straight FREE DOWNLOAD. This was deception in it's clearest form. I've never seen a game console LAUNCH with a COUPON for a game, they always launch with a free game or other features built in at a lower price. I feel cheated and ripped off. Will Sony be refunding for the increased cost of the bundle which came with NO GAMES INCLUDED?

I have contacted their customer support about this and they were quick to shut me down saying they know nothing about the subject or hang up on me.

Contact the Federal Trade Commission about it. Under law they are required to carry through with refunds. If you can prove you bought a PS Vita in the timeframe they outlined, then they will need to refund you, or you could seek further legal action against Sony.

Has anyone heard boo from Sony about this? A quick Google search only turns up news stories from late November. I intend to collect the refund to which I'm entitled.

I knew it, I got my vita on preorder for launch date from bestbuy and to my disappointment yeah certain features that sold me on it were a dud like 3G connection and of course the cross play which was unable to establish fully pair with with my ps3 at the time it was a very lousy connection hand shake was breaking all the time, oh btw I just recently bought a Sony 75" tv and their miracast mirrowing feature is another false one it too is chopy and pixelated heavy at times (can someone look into that too) please. Sony please get on the PRO side and stop misleading us all you will do is sink your own ship.

"refund" what a joke. Nothing offered is actually worth anything to the consumer. Digital games you don't own, 'store credit' with no monetary value, or a gift voucher that cannt purchase anything alone? The games you get are the cheap, bargain bin games; $20 new now, and mostly free on ps plus. Thats right, ps plus users get shafted even more than they do already! Just like the 30 day network outage of yore, and we got garbage then, too.

The Federal Trade Commission recently approved two final orders settling charges against Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (Sony) and its advertising agency. Under the order, Sony will provide eligible consumers who bought a PS Vita gaming console before June 1, 2012, either a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 merchandise voucher for select video games, and/or services.

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.