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Sony to Refund Customers Over 'Deceptive' PlayStation Vita Ads

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Sony will offer a $25 cash refund to some people who bought the PlayStation Vita as part of a settlement of government charges that its ads about the hand-held gaming console's "game-changing" technological features were "deceptive." The Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement Tuesday with Sony Computer Entertainment America, the U.S.-based arm of the PlayStation business. Among the advertising claims the FTC said were misleading: that the pocket-sized console would revolutionize gaming mobility by allowing consumers to play their PlayStation 3 games via "remote play, and that people could engage in "cross platform" play by starting a game on a PlayStation 3 and then continuing the game on the PS Vita from where they left off. Neither was really true, the FTC said.

The ad claims at issue were made during the U.S. launch of the product, around the early days of 2012, when the console sold for about $250. As part of the settlement, Sony will provide refunds to people who bought the PS Vita console before June 1, 2012. They'll be eligible for either a $25 cash or credit refund or a $50 merchandise voucher from Sony.

Sony, said in a statement to NBC News, said: "Although we have a strong difference of opinion with the FTC as to the message that PS Vita purchasers took from that advertising, we decided to settle the FTC’s inquiry in order to focus on the PlayStation 4’s momentum into this holiday, where PlayStation Vita continues to play an important role."

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— The Associated Press and NBC News staff

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