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FTC Orders Sony to Refund Early Vita Adopters $50 for “Deceptive” Marketing

by Ron Duwell | November 26, 2014November 26, 2014 4:30 pm PDT

Sony PS Vita on Beach

I know it doesn’t have the most fans, but I like my PlayStation Vita. I’ve just sunk 50+ hours into Persona 4 Golden, had a blast running through Ys: Memories of Celceta, and I often bring it with me on the train if I feel like playing through a PSOne Classic or an indie hit on the go.

On the other hand, a lot of people feel like they were misled by Sony, which promised to use the device to deliver the AAA experience into the palm of their hands. Most people didn’t buy a Vita to play Ys, Persona, Alundra or Hotline Miami on the go, they bought it for Uncharted, Killzone and Assassin’s Creed. Can’t say I blame them, because Sony promised this experience in the marketing only to backpedal and say that the AAA economy doesn’t work with it.

Needless to say, a lot of people are unhappy with the Vita and Sony’s marketing for it, including the FTC. The government body has ordered Sony to pay early adopters, anyone who bought the device before June 1, 2012, a $50 refund for marketing deception. Keep in mind that this order is not in regards to the lack of AAA titles on the Vita, but rather unkept promises with the cloud system and interaction with the PlayStation 3.

First is the issue of streaming games through Remote Play from the PlayStation 3 into the Vita. Advertisements showed a person playing Killzone 3 on the Vita, and that is a game which does not even support the Remote Play option. In fact, not enough games feature this option to meet the marketing, says the FTC’s ruling.

“Very few, if any, other PS3 games of similar size and complexity are remote play compatible.”

The FTC also takes issue with the Sony’s insistence that Cross-Saves from the PlayStation 3 to the Vita would be instantaneous, and a person could essentially pick up where they left off after swapping consoles. While some games support a cross-save function, this instantaneous switch is not possible. It also says that Sony didn’t shine enough of a light on the fact that a person would need to own both the PS3 and PS Vita version of a game to do this.

The list of grievances from the FTC is quite long, so again, every person who bought the machine before June 1, 2012 will be getting $50 because of its ruling.

I like my Vita, and I was educated enough on the gaming scene to know what I was getting when I dropped my money on it back when the new slim model was coming out. It doesn’t play AAA games, but I think I’m kind of happy it keeps that beast at a distance.

That being said, I can definitely see why a lot of people who picked it up would feel unhappy with Sony’s promises. Let us know what you think in the comments below, especially if you are an early adopter of this console.

FTC Eurogamer

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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