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PlayStation 5: Sony postpones games event due to US protests

Sony has delayed hosting a showcase event for its next games console.

In a statement it did not directly mention the civil unrest in the US, but alluded to it saying “we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration”, adding it wanted “more important voices to be heard”.

The firm had been set to unveil some of the games in development for its forthcoming PlayStation 5 on Thursday.

Other technology firms have also cancelled planned launch events.

Game publisher Electronic Arts postponed its reveal event for its latest sports title, Madden NFL 21, issuing a statement saying “we stand with our African American / Black community… we’ll find another time to talk football with you”.

Activision also delayed the release of a new season of content for Call of Duty: Warzone, writing that “now is not the time”.

Google had earlier delayed an online event for the next version of Android.

The US tech giant had planned to show off new features of the mobile operating system on Wednesday, as well as release a version for testers.

On the Android Developer website, it had issued a similar statement saying: “Now is not the time to celebrate.”

It avoided directly mentioning the protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in police custody a week ago when a white police officer knelt on his neck.

And AirBnB pulled a planned video message from its chief executive about the future of travel, Bloomberg reports.

Sony’s move avoids the risks inherent in trying to promote games likely to involve violent combat at a time when stand-offs and clashes are occurring across the US.

Many of those who would have covered the launch welcomed the decision.

“Good – you’ll have to excuse me for not being in the mood for next-gen hype this week,” tweeted Samit Sarkar, front page editor of the games news website Polygon.

Rachel Weber, managing director of GamesRadar added: “Well done Sony.”

While Sony only made indirect reference to the protests in its postponement notice, it had been more explicit about its views in earlier social media posts.

“We denounce systemic racism and violence against the black community. We will continue to work towards a future marked by empathy and inclusion and stand with our black creators, players, employees, families and friends. #BlackLivesMatter,” it had tweeted a few hours earlier.

One of its games studios, Naughty Dog, also posted that it was donating to national and local US organisations to help tackle racism and injustice.

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BBC News – Technology

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