Sony caves amid FTC legal threats, promises to fix warranties
Sony Interactive Entertainment just announced that some changes have been made to the warranties of PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, PS Vita, and PS3 consoles in the United States and Canada. Their plans include adding in certain exceptions for what is essentially damage done by DIY repairs by gamers.
- Our previous warranties stated that the warranty does not apply if the product is used with a peripheral that is not supplied or licensed by SIE. Our updated warranties state that the warranty does not apply “to damage caused by” use of the product with an unlicensed peripheral.
- Our previous warranties stated that the warranty does not apply if the warranty seal on the product has been altered or removed. Our updated warranty states that the warranty does not apply “to damage caused by” opening the product or to damage caused by service performed by someone other than a representative of SIE or an SIE-authorized service provider.
On top of these, Sony also added clauses promising “free return shipping for in-warranty consoles in the U.S. In total, these new warranty policies are probably the easiest way Sony could devise to try and discourage DIY repairs and modding without angering the FTC. One good change is that Sony will be obligated to service consoles they previously would have ignored. If you’ve modded your console, don’t expect Sony to stick their neck out to fix it for you though.
This whole conundrum is the result of a sustained pattern of legal threats and promised regulation by the FTC and consumer advocacy groups that sought to shift video game and tech companies away from predatory policies. And while we most likely won’t see state or national governments introducing “Right to DIY” laws to further expand protections for consumers when it comes to games consoles, the overall situation is a good first step in the right direction.
Other companies like HTC and Microsoft were also called out, so we’d expect their policies to change in the coming weeks as well.
ISKMogul is a growing video game publication that got its start covering EVE Online, and has since expanded to cover a large number of topics and niches within the purview of gaming.