The United States’ Federal Trade Commission has ruled that some of Sony’s marketing of the Playstation Vita was “deceptive” and therefore Sony must reimburse early adopters of their handheld console.
This reimbursement will come in the form of partial rebates. Anyone who bought a PS Vita before June 1, 2012 will be eligible to choose one of two rebate options; either $25 cash, or a $50 credit for select video games and/or services.
Sony said they will begin sending out emails to those eligible later today. Since this is a U.S. ruling it is only confirmed right now that consumers in the United States will be eligible for the rebates. We have tried to confirm whether early adopters outside the U.S. are eligible. So far the only response was from the @AskPlayStation Twitter account which said “There is no information to share at the moment, stay tuned for updates.”. If you are outside of the U.S. and receive an email, let us know so we can update this article.
The Ruling was made on a number of claims Sony made in advertisements for the PS Vita. Ads suggested that players would be able to use remote play, to play PS3 titles on-the-go, but this only applied to specific games and the ads even showed games using this feature that didn’t end up having it.
The ads also suggested that the cross-save feature would be available for all PS3 titles, when in fact it too only applied to certain games in limited capacities and players needed to own copies of the game on both consoles for this to work.
The ads also mislead consumers by suggesting the Vita’s multiplayer functionality would be much more robust than it actually is.
The FTC also made a complaint against Deutsch LA, Sony’s advertising agency for the Vita’s launch. The FTC alleges Deutsch LA mislead consumers by getting it’s employees to promote the Vita, pre-launch, by sending out positive tweets from personal twitter accounts using the hashtag #GameChanger and without disclosing that they were affiliated with the ad agency.