Sony Settles FTC Complaint Over Misleading PlayStation Vita Ads, Will Issue Partial Refunds

Sony has come to a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission over the way it advertised a feature that allowed players to pause a PlayStation 3 game and resume playing it from a different location on their PlayStation Vita console. It's part of the Vita's "cross-save" functionality, though the way it was advertised, Sony made it sound like it worked with all games.

At the time of the complaint, the cross-save feature only worked with a few PS3 games, while the pause-and-save feature described in the ads varied significantly from game to game. Sony also failed to inform buyers that they had to purchase two versions of the same game -- one for the PS3 and one for the Vita.

PlayStation Vita

"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," said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. "The FTC will not hesitate to act on behalf of consumers when companies or advertisers make false product claims."

Among the list of grievances, the FTC further alleged that Sony's ads misled consumers who owned the 3G version of the Vita into thinking they could engage in live, multi-player gaming through a 3G network.

As part of the settlement, Sony has agreed to reach out to anyone who purchased a Vita before June 1, 2012, and issue either a $25 cash or credit, or a 50 merchandise voucher.