The PS5 event originally slated for June 4 will be pushed back indefinitely, according to Sony. The PlayStation manufacturer believes that the conference would intrude on more important world events, and that both manufacturers and fans probably have more pressing matters to focus on at the moment.
Information comes from a tweet on the official PlayStation account; Sony also disseminated this information through Facebook and similar platforms.
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“We have decided to postpone the PlayStation 5 event schedule for June 4,” the message reads. “While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”
pic.twitter.com/ZAY8StN0EUJune 1, 2020
For those who haven’t been following news in the United States, Sony is referring to the death of George Floyd: a black man killed by a police officer in Minneapolis last week. Floyd’s death has sparked protests and riots all around the country. Government officials, everyday citizens and big companies are all trying to figure out the appropriate reaction. To start, a number of those big companies have expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Sony among them.
“We denounce systemic racism and violence against the Black community,” a tweet from Sony earlier today said. “We will continue to work towards a future marked by empathy and inclusion and stand with our Black creators, players, employees, families and friends.” The tweet ended with a #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
The comments on Sony’s tweet are a predictable mix of support, disappointment, subtle bigotry and outright racism. But generally speaking, the retweets and likes far exceed the negative voices, suggesting that most gamers understand Sony’s position. Plowing ahead with a big, celebratory gaming event might have come off as tone-deaf at best, and offensive at worst.
A similar situation happened at E3 2016, which took place just after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The atmosphere of excitement and glorification of violent games felt somewhat at odds with the solemn tributes to the LGBT community. No company really handled things correctly, including Sony, but postponing a physical E3 wasn’t really an option. Postponing a digital press conference is much more feasible.
In any case, Sony hasn’t given any indication of when the PS5 event will take place, so fans will have to stay tuned to the PlayStation Twitter for further updates. The content is presumably ready to go, so it could happen at any time. Sony may want to wait until the news cycle in the U.S. quiets down, but that’s also not guaranteed to happen any time soon.
Overall, Sony’s move seems like the best course of action in light of current events and the current turmoil gripping the country. Tom’s Guide will report on the Sony event whenever it happens.