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Nintendo and Sony comply with FTC's ruling, Microsoft pending

Published: 12:35, 10 May 2018
Picture of a PlayStation 4 pro with one gamepad next to it
PlayStation 4 Pro

The Federal Trade Commission has recently issued a warning to Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, due to potentially illegal language in warranties for the Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Nintendo and Sony complied so it's Microsoft's turn.

Credit to Nintendo though, who were pretty quick to amend their warranty. Naturally, they didn't miss a chance to pat their own back in the process, talking about quality products and striving to exceed expectations. To be fair, the Switch does seem to have kickstarted but still.

Sony also reacted and apparently took it a step further, tweaking the language that warned against removal of stickers with similar wording. The stickers now list both Sony Interactive Entertainment and SIE authorised service providers.

That means Microsoft is the only console manufacturer left to comply with FTC's warning. Note however that this was not a console oriented move, as the FTC has issued similar warnings to Asus, HTC and Hyundai as well. 

The FTC had taken issue with the language contained in these warranties because they infringe on the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The Act clearly states that manufacturers charging upwards of $5 for device repairs cannot claim sole rights to provide the service.

Consequently, warnings in console warranties and on warranty stickers cannot warn users of them being void if the device is "repaired by anyone other than X", because it would encourage unfair practices.

I must admit though, I've not been aware of this legislation and it appears I'm certainly not alone in this. However, the stickers that the FTC referred to have been around for quite a while.

Microsoft Black Xbox One console against a black bacground Xbox One

In fact, and correct me if I'm wrong here, but I seem to recall them being around for pretty much forever, not just on Nintendo's and Sony's consoles of old. Yeah, back when Microsoft were just tinkerers of a fledgling technology fad.

Nevertheless, the issue has been addressed but it does pose a question of why it took more than 30 years to enforce an arguably ancient legislation?

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