The year was 2011. Sony has just announced an amazing portable console which will compete with Nintendo's 3DS. This portable console is no low grade hardware toy. This console will have hardware comparable to your PS3. This was the PS Vita. You saw this advert blasting through your TV screen and you were beyond pumped.
Unfortunately, this kind of experience never really came into being. While it is true that you can play and continue games from your PS3 the process was about as far from instant as you can get. Firstly, not all games were compatible, then you often had to purchase both versions of the game, and finally you sometimes had to complete titles on the PS3 to then cross play them on the Vita.
Sony also suggested that its remote play feature would be available anywhere via 3G when it is in reality a Wi-Fi only service. This was a huge disappointment to consumers who paid $50 more for the 3G model alongside the monthly fee for the service. While updates to the Vita have brought it more in line with the originally advertised service (for instance many games purchased now give you both the PS3/4 and Vita versions together) back in 2012 consumers were still years away from this promised gameplay.
Sony was forced to enter into a legal battle over false advertising claims and today TechRaptor are pleased to inform readers that Sony have finalized the settlement in the consumers favor in order to dismiss the case. This means Sony does not accept of deny claims that it falsely advertised. Jessica Rich of the FTC had this to say on the issue:
“As we enter the year’s biggest shopping period, companies need to be reminded that if they make product promises to consumers -- as Sony did with the “game changing” features of its PS Vita -- they must deliver on those pledges, ... The FTC will not hesitate to act on behalf of consumers when companies or advertisers make false product claims.”The FTC also scolded Deutsch LA the company in charge of this Vita promotion for misleading customers. Not only did they mislead in the adverts, but also on Twitter they used hashtags such as #gamechanger and employees of Deutsch LA promoted the Vita without disclosure of their partnership with Sony.
If you are a North American who purchased your Vita console before 1st June 2012 keep an eager eye on your inbox, as you will receive an email about your refund soon.
In the name of flexibility Sony have offered consumers 3 different packages:
A $25 cheque
$25 in Playstation Store credit
Or one of three bundles of 4 games each valued from $66-$100
Interestingly for a PS Vita cross-play case the majority of games are only available on PS3 and none of these titles are in fact cross-play compatible. However, Sony have offered up some great games from the God of War Collection containing every God of War title, Beyond: Two Souls and Puppeteer though in seemingly random formations.
Consumers only have until 30th June to accept this offer and if they do, they waive their right to any future settlement.
What do you think of the Vita Settlement? Is Sony offering fair compensation?