Sony Scolded For 20th Anniversary PS4's Unfair Contest

Remember back in December when Sony announced the 20th Anniversary Edition of the PlayStation 4, with only 12,300 units to be sold worldwide? Well, the company has received a scolding of sorts over how the limited edition console was sold in the UK. Here in the U.S., the system was thrown up on a website at a random time, and whoever could click "checkout" fast enough was a winner. Unfortunately for those in Britain, the process was much more convoluted, and involved a contest of sorts that focused on solving riddles from a website. Potential buyers were left frustrated, and now their complains have been recognized.

Sony's goal was to make it so that the most loyal PlayStation fans would have the best chance of buying the Anniversary Edition. They set up a website filled with images of characters from iconic PlayStation games, then tweeted out clues at specific times during the promotion week. By solving the clue, you knew which character image to click on, and that would take you to a special form where the first 100 people to fill it out could place an order.

Problems emerged when it was realized that once one person solves the clue, it only takes seconds for them to share the answer. Thus huge numbers of people all knew the answer and could submit orders, while those still trying to solve the clue were already locked out. Then someone figured out how to get the clues before they were posted, and submit orders ahead of time.

At the time, Sony said it cancelled the orders of those who cheated and got the clue early, but six people still complained to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA has now stated that the "promotion's terms and conditions had been breached in a number of ways," and that the competition "caused unnecessary disappointment."

Unfortunately this all amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist for Sony. No one is being given a second opportunity to score one of the nostalgia-infused PS4s, but hopefully those that were cheated can feel vindicated knowing Sony was told that they must "ensure that future promotions were administered fairly."

SOURCE EuroGamer