SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Sony Computer Entertainment misled consumers by claiming that its "Killzone: Shadow Fall" has higher-resolution graphics than it actually does, a class action claims in Federal Court.
Lead plaintiff Douglas Ladore claims that Sony pitched Killzone as "a crowning achievement in the video game industry" and "a graphically striking game set in a dystopian future that took full advantage of the PS4's advanced processing power."
When Sony rolled out its Playstation 4 console in November 2013, "the success of 'Killzone' was imperative to Sony and the ultimate success of the PS4," as "only days after the PS4's release, Microsoft planned to release its Xbox One," Ladore says in the complaint.
He adds: "Microsoft stands as Sony's main competitor in the gaming industry, and the release of the Xbox One triggered a 'console war,' with both companies vying for consumer purchases. ...
"The focus of the 'console battle' rested squarely on the consoles' respective performance. Amongst gamers and video game critics, a metric known in the industry as 'resolution' is a leading indicator of video game and console performance.
"Resolution is as a measure of a digital image's clarity. A digital image is composed of many points of color (i.e., pixels), with more pixels generally corresponding to increased clarity. Image 'resolution' refers to the number of lines of pixels in the vertical direction by the number of lines of pixels in the horizontal direction.
"By far, most modern televisions use the industry-standard '1080p' format. Under that standard, the '1080' refers to the number of lines of pixels in the horizontal direction (1,920 by 1,080). The 'p' in '1080p' refers to the standard's 'progressive scanning' technology."
Sony claimed that the game and console had "razor-sharp 1080p native resolution (1920 x 1080)," but "gamers quickly noticed and complained that Killzone's multiplayer graphics were blurry to the point of distraction," the complaint states.
It adds: "The cause of this blurriness went unknown until a well-respected video game website reported that Killzone's multiplayer did not actually provide '1080p' graphics as advertised."
Sony then issued a statement and "admitted that it did not in fact design Killzone to display multiplayer graphics in 1080p, but instead used a technological shortcut that was supposed to provide 'subjectively similar' results," the lawsuit states.
"Sony's marketing culminated in on-the-box representations that Killzone would provide 1080p multiplayer graphics," but "none of these promises were true," Ladore claims
Sony declined to comment, telling Courthouse News it has a "company policy of not addressing pending litigation."
Ladore seeks class certification and damages for fraud, breach of contract, false advertising, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
He is represented by Mark Eisen with Edelson P.C., of Los Angeles.