We all know that companies stretch the truth when it comes to advertising. Sometimes though, the truth is stretched a little too far, and the company gets caught – and that’s exactly what happened to Sony, who’s been found guilty of intentionally misleading the public over the launch of the PlayStation Vita.
The drama started back in 2011 and 2012, when advertising campaigns promised remote play features – “pause your PS3 game and pick it up on your Vita” – which the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) argues Sony knew was actually impossible on the hardware in question.
Now, the FTC has unanimously approved final orders against Sony and a former marketing partner, ordering the companies to “make amends” for the poor advertising campaigns. This means that anyone who purchased a Vita before June 1st, 2012, is eligible for a refund: Either US$25, or a US$50 voucher for “select Sony games and services”. More details are forthcoming, but the company has been asked to email “all consumers it can reasonably identify as having bought a PS VIta before June 1, 2012”.
In an unsurprising move, the Commission has also ruled that the companies are not allowed to make any misleading advertising claims about future handheld console products. We’re not sure if that means misleading advertising claims about home consoles are still on the table – but it might be a good idea to take all future Sony advertising with a healthy dose of skepticism.