The Sony PS Vita refund website is now live, according to Game Informer, and that means PS Vita owners eligible to claim a piece of the settlement can now do so. Three options are available, including a game bundle, according to VitaClaims.com, the website handling claims.
The problem is that the game bundle option is flawed. The majority of games only work on PlayStation 3 – not the PlayStation Vita – and none have the cross-play feature enabled.
According to Game Informer, the available settlement options are a bit different from those offered in the initial settlement announcement, which occurred November, 2014. At that time, Sony agreed to offer either a $25 cash or check refund, or a $50 game and services credit.
The final order became a reality last week when the FTC voted to approve it 5 – 0, according to the FTC, and it states that eligible PS Vita owners can choose one of three compensation offers.
An email Sony sent to eligible owners details what those are and how to claim the offer, according to PlayStation Lifestyle, which published the email.
Eligible PS Vita owners can “receive either a check for $25 (or a $25 credit on your PSN account) or a merchandise voucher, but not both.” The merchandise voucher is good for one of three $50 game bundles.
It appears Sony designed the compensation options so that eligible PS Vita owners might choose the merchandise option instead of cash or PSN credit. Considering the low cost to mass produce games that come on CD, and the low cost of plastic, it is not surprising.
What is surprising is that the game bundles Sony wants to compensate PS Vita owners with include mostly PlayStation 3 games.
What if the PS Vita owners don’t have a PlayStation 3?
Sony is offering seven distinct game titles in all, some of which include God of War, Puppeteer, and Mod Nation Racers, among others.
The game bundles have total values ranging from $66.46 to $100.46. The problem is that even though each of the game bundles comes with four games, only three of the seven titles are compatible with the PlayStation Vita. Furthermore, none of the games offered has the cross-play feature enabled that would have allowed gamers to play on both the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.
That means a PS Vita owner who wants to take advantage of the game bundle option, but does not have a PlayStation 3 console has one of three choices. Either buy a PlayStation 3, settle for one or two game titles and sell or give away the others, or choose a different compensation option.
The settlement is the result of a lawsuit the Federal Trade Commission filed against Sony and Deutsche LA in November, 2014, which alleges both companies mislead consumers with false advertising, according to the FTC.
Although both companies agreed to settlement, neither Sony nor Deutsche LA admitted to guilt or wrongdoing and only Sony must compensate PS Vita owners directly.
According to PlayStation Lifestyle, PS Vita owners eligible to participate in the settlement offer should have received an email by now detailing the options available to them, as well as how to claim the offer. To be eligible, PS Vita owners must reside in the United States, purchased a PS Vita before July 1, 2012, and not returned it for a refund already.
According to the official refund website, Vitaclaims.com, anyone who thinks they are eligible to receive a refund – whether they registered their PS Vita or not – should fill out the official claim form and supply the required information proving the purchase to claim their Sony PS Vita refund option.
[Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images, VitaClaims Website]