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Sony Settles With FTC Over "Misleading" Vita Advertising

Consumers who purchased a Vita before a certain date are eligible for a small refund or product voucher.

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Well, this one came out of left field.

Sony's decided to settle with the Federal Trade Commission after the group charged Sony with misleading advertising for the PS Vita. Consumers who purchased a Vita prior to June 1, 2012 will be eligible for a $25 refund or $50 "merchandise voucher."

Specific details will arrive over email in the future, as there's a chance the settlement could change.

The FTC took issue with how Sony pushed the Remote Play, "cross platform," and 3G features of the device. In the eyes of the FTC, the advertising suggested Vita owners could play a signifiant number of games over Remote Play (which isn't really true), it didn't spell out how "cross platform" play could require two copies of the game, and it wasn't clear 3G connections weren't fast enough for online multiplayer.

Here's how the FTC laid it out:

"The FTC's complaint against Sony charges the company with making false claims about the PS Vita's "cross platform gaming" or "cross-save" feature. 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. For example, with respect to "MLB 12: The Show," consumers could only save the game to the PS Vita after finishing the entire nine-inning game on their PS3. In addition, Sony failed to inform consumers that to use this feature, purchasers had to buy two versions of the same game – one for their PS3 and one for the PS Vita.

The FTC's complaint also alleges that Sony's PS Vita ads falsely implied that consumers who owned the 3G version of the device (which cost an extra $50 plus monthly fees) could engage in live, multi-player gaming through a 3G network. In fact, consumers could not engage in live, multiplayer gaming.

The complaint further alleges that Sony also falsely claimed that with the "remote play" feature, PS Vita users could easily access their PS3 games on their handheld consoles. In reality, most PS3 games were not remote playable on the PS Vita. Sony also misled consumers by falsely claiming that PS Vita users could remotely play the popular PS3 game, Killzone 3, on the PS Vita. In fact, Sony never enabled remote play on its Killzone 3 game title, and very few, if any, PS3 games of similar size and complexity were remote playable on the PS Vita."

Patrick Klepek on Google+