If you bought your Playstation Vita before 1 June 2012, you may be eligible for a reward from a class action lawsuit filed against Sony Computer Entertainment America by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2014. The lawsuit accused Sony of false advertising, deceptive advertising, and not selling customers the product and services they thought they would be getting, specifically for the much-rumored Remote Play feature.
If you bought your PS Vita before 1 June 2012, you can approach the FTC for remuneration, provided that you fill out a claim form for the reward by 29 July 2015. You will need to list the serial number of the handheld and supply other information like your Playstation ID, which will verify your data of purchase, as well as make you eligible for one of the following rewards:
- A $25 check, able to be cashed in at any bank
- $25 in Playstation Store credit
- A game bundle consisting of God of War Collection (PS3), Beyond: Two Souls (PS3) and Unity 13 (PS Vita) valued at $92.95
- A game bundle consisting of Little Big Planet 2 (PS3), Puppeteer (PS3), Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita) and Modnation Racers: Road Trip (PS Vita) valued at $100.46
- A game bundle consisting of God of War Collection (PS3), Little Big Planet 2 (PS3), Modnation Racers: Road Trip (PS Vita) and Unity 13 (PS Vita) valued at $66.46
Obviously, none of these games support Remote Play, which is ironic considering that the titles that did claim support for it, like MLB 2012 and Killzone 3, aren’t listed. In fact, I think a number of Vita owners who bought the console and those games would be only too happy to see those purchases specifically remunerated, as they were part of the advertising campaign that Sony ran to put Remote Play in the spotlight.
In the end, even with a Vita equipped with a 3G radio, it turned out more difficult to make Remote Play work than Sony had ever imagined. Its not that difficult in a country with modern connectivity like Gigabit Ethernet literally all over the place, but back in 2012 the internet landscape of the US was absolutely atrocious (and still is to a large degree).
As other companies joined in on the streaming bandwagon, Sony realised that they needed video encoders and decoders on both devices to make it work better, and to limit it to local WiFi use only, with the option of running a game stream outside of your home if you have a high enough upload speed. The PS3 just didn’t have enough GPU power to make it work for all games and the PS Vita was too underpowered to run the decoding and scaling process in real-time.
As part of the settlement, any PS Vita owner who bought the 3G version with the intention of playing against others in multiplayer matches are also included in these rewards. Most of the multiplayer action was restricted to turn-based action, so it wasn’t representative of the experiences that Sony promised in their advertising. Sony has, par for the course, neither admitted or denied liability for the claims of false advertising, but will pay respondents out nonetheless.