Both Sony and Nintendo have updated their warranty policies, in response to a warning issued by the FTC last month that gave the companies 30 days to comply.
Per the warning, Sony and Nintendo (along with Microsoft, Hyundai, HTC, and ASUS) violated a law against warranties that imply a customer must purchase a particular service or article. For example, a warranty would be illegal if it were voided when a person took a malfunctioning console to a local service for repair, rather than sending it to the manufacturer. This would typically result in the "warranty void if removed" sticker being removed, indicating to Sony that a third party had serviced it.
To comply, Sony has revised two aspects of its warranty policy. The first involves warranty exclusions. Prior to the change, if a Sony console was used with a third-party peripheral or if the warranty seal was altered or removed, the warranty was void. Now, the warranty is void if a third party peripheral specifically causes damage to the product, or if the product is damaged by being opened or serviced by someone not authorized by Sony. Simple absence or damage of the sticker will not result in a voided warranty if the damage is unrelated.
The second change clarifies Sony's existing policy of providing free return shipping for consoles that are in-warranty, repaired, or factory-recertified. Previously, that language was not reflected in the warranty policy despite the service existing.
In a statement obtained by USGamer, Nintendo emphasised the "high quality" of its products, and its drive to exceed the expectations of its customers.
"We continuously review and refine our support policies to ensure they embody that commitment," the company said. "As part of that effort, we have updated our warranty text to clarify that Nintendo provides warranty service for defects not caused by the user or by other unauthorized acts."
The language Nintendo previously used stated that a warranty would be void if a Nintendo product was used with any other product, "not sold or licensed by Nintendo (Including but not limited to, non-licensed game enhancement and copier devices, adapters, software, and power supplies."
We have contacted Microsoft for comment.
Update: Microsoft has also updated its warranties, GamesIndustry.biz has learned. The company issued the following statement:
We are updating our warranties to clarify that having your device repaired by a third party, opening your console, or breaking the seal will not void the warranty. We are also further clarifying that the warranty does not apply to damage caused by users, third-party parts, or repair by third parties.