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The Real Reason Sony Delayed Its Reveal Event

Sony has delayed the PlayStation 5 showcase scheduled for June 4. 

"We have decided to postpone the PlayStation 5 event scheduled for June 4," explained Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan. "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."

Sporting the title "The Future of Gaming," the live event will offer players their first look at the games coming to PlayStation 5 following its Holiday 2020 launch. Both AAA and indie studios from around the globe will showcase projects as part of the stream, which will run for a little over an hour.

News of the delay follows a May 31 tweet from the official Sony Twitter account showing its support for the black community and Black Lives Matter movement. "We stand in solidarity today and every day with the Black community," wrote the company. "Right now, we want to use our platform to spread information & support."

Sony is one of many corporate voices that have publicly backed the Black Lives Matter cause. Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg pledged $10 million in donations, while acknowledging the platform "needs to do more to support equality and safety for the black community." Similarly, fitness startup Peloton shared plans to donate $500,000 to the NAACP's legal defense fund. Other companies, including Twitter, Nike, and Netflix, announced their support via social media.

The delays, declarations, and donations follow days of protests and demonstrations across the United States in the wake of George Floyd's death. An unarmed black man, Floyd died at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. A video circulated of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes and he has since been fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets day after day to demand a harsher punishment for Chauvin, in addition to charges against the three other police officers involved in the incident. For many, Floyd's death is just the latest in a long-running string of events centered on police brutality, a corrupt criminal justice system, and racial inequity.

In some cases, the protests have turned to vandalism, and violence has erupted on both sides. Videos continue to make the rounds on social media showing police officers breaking up peaceful demonstrations with pepper spray, rubber bullets, and tear gas. Meanwhile, in some cities, protesters have thrown bottles at officers and set fire to police cars. Dozens have been injured, hundreds of people have been arrested, and over 25 cities have issued curfews.

Faced with the current unrest, it seems Sony has delayed the PS5 showcase in an effort to keep the world's attention centered on more pressing and important issues. Some commenters, however, have accused the company of ulterior motives.

"Last November government in Iran Slaughtered 1500 protesters, did you care? What about protesters in Hong Kong or other countries? the answer is NO," wrote one Twitter user. "So why US? Because it's all about MONEY, you don't give a damn about people voices."

"While I agree these protests are far more important than your big event, stop pretending you're doing anything but postponing it because you'd rather the coverage and attention paid to said protests not overshadow it and nothing else," replied another.

Whatever the company's motivations, most commenters appear to agree with the decision. Buoyed by Sony's request for "links, resources, or other helpful information" to share, dozens have highlighted ways for Sony and allies of the Black Lives Matter movement to make a difference. The growing list includes key organizations to donate to and petitions to sign.

Xbox, PlayStation's main competitor, seems to be taking a similar approach to its rival. "Xbox stands together with our fans, creators, colleagues, friends, and the entire African American & Black Community against systemic racism and injustice," stated the official Xbox Twitter account on June 1. The caption accompanied a retweet of a post from Microsoft promising to use "our platform to amplify voices from the Black and African American community at Microsoft."

Sony has declined to provide a new date for the PlayStation 5 showcase, and may be waiting to see how the situation in the United States plays out before rescheduling.