Boston Mayor asks Sony to reconsider decision to withdraw from PAX East due to coronavirus concerns in a letter to the current CEO and president.
The Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, sent a letter to Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida formally requesting him and the company to reconsider pulling out of the upcoming PAX East convention set to start on Thursday February 27th and end on March 1st.
In his letter, Walsh said the risk of contracting coronavirus in Boston and the greater Massachusetts area is extremely low and that officials have no reason to believe that anyone should cancel plans to visit the city. His letter reads: “These fears reinforce harmful stereotypes that generations of Asians have worked hard to dismantle. They trigger our worst impulses: to view entire groups of people with suspicion, to close ourselves off, and to miss out on the opportunities and connections our global city provides. Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears.”
He then appeals to Sony by stating that as an influential global company they have the opportunity to set an example for other companies and show that they believe in facts over fear and that they prioritize “connections over isolation.”
Earlier in February Sony officially announced that it won’t be attending the PAX East convention in Boston, M.A. later this month, acknowledging that the ongoing coronavirus sickness is the reason for this move. Sony released an official statement on the PlayStation Blog detailing their decision:
Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to cancel its participation at PAX East in Boston this year due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”). We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.
According to its latest patent, Sony is developing an AI that will aid players who are stuck in a video game. For instance, if a player asks “how do I beat this boss,” the AI would look through data collected from other players. This data would include other players’ character builds and whatever items or skills they used to win. The AI would then show the player whatever this item is, and the quickest way to get it. This can lead to microtransactions being the best way to beat a boss, although that wouldn’t always be the case.
In other news, despite the recent State of the Industry report providing a positive outlook on the future of VR with increased interest in the Oculus line of hardware, Sony has taken the decision to close its Manchester-based studio. It cited that the closure was to “improve efficiency and operational effectiveness.”