As we approached the month of June companies were striving to get back some semblance of normality. Long-planned events and showcases had to be moved to virtual settings, stock at Amazon were continuing to be in short supply but tentatively seemed to be getting better – at least until its California distribution center burned down – and generally, the population was beginning to inch towards the terrifying new phrase – ‘the new normal’.
Large numbers of companies and organizations rushed to show support for the Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd, and the uprising born out of desperation seems to at least carry some hope that the tipping point has finally been reached.
Whatever your views on delaying PS5 launch announcements and delaying the new season of Fortnite by tying them into social injustice, such huge steps by global companies further highlighted that change is not only needed but has to happen right now.
Of course, it was the right thing to do. How can you stand on YouTube and promote your new games, when compared to what is going on in the world right now, it literally doesn’t matter? But what it helped to do was highlight why people have taken to the streets, even risking the further spread of COVID-19, to Fortnite playing kids who may not have been as aware of the significance of times we seem to be in.
And while the cynical may point that you are likely to get fewer column inches in the current news climate so holding off is the right marketing move, regardless of the reason, awareness was raised, and awareness is perhaps one of the most important weapons in the fight against racism and inequality. It’s time to change for the better.
With all of the protests as the backdrop, June began with news breaking that storage manufacturer WD was going to face a class-action lawsuit for misleading their buyers of some of their high-spec, high-priced devices which had been hobbled with cheaper technology that dramatically slowed their performance. For inexplicable reasons this minor fact had been omitted from all the marketing and specifications, leaving WD to scramble their PR machine and humbly apologize and promise to do better. Something that probably wouldn’t have happened had they not been caught out. Still, maybe a lesson learned for next time.
While PC Guide looked into what would be the Best Wireless Charger to pick up it seemed Microsoft was also having problems with it’s much-vaunted May 2020 update for Windows 10. We were very much in June and a large number of users were still unable to download the new version due to incompatibilities in their system – incompatibilities in which nobody knows what they are. Doubtless, there’s been a few long nights in Seattle trying to sort this one out.
Steam’s user survey showed a dramatic increase in VR headset ownership, which probably accounts for the fact of why it is nigh on impossible to get hold of one at the moment. So many people can’t go out and about because of the pandemic so they are going on virtual holidays two-inches in front of their faces this year.
Our favorite artisan PC component manufacturer (niche we know), Jellykey unveiled its latest handcrafted keyboard keycaps and showed us the levels of detail that goes into creating every single one. We want these on display in a museum!
Our Editor Lewie revealed the news that Epic Games Store was to have an exclusive on the forthcoming Troy Total War game and that it would be free for the first 24 hours. Now Lewie isn’t a massive fan of distribution platform exclusivity so you can be sure that this news irritated him more than most people.
When it came to hardware we reviewed the outstanding new Define 7 Compact case from Fractal Design and loved pretty much every inch of it, and brought you news from Thermaltake’s Virtual Expo 2020 – an event put together on YouTube in light of the coronavirus issues.
Elsewhere Apple had a tough few hours as its iCloud service went down for many people causing the expected Twitter backlash and we got to grips with the Best Paper Shredder – an item you might think is ridiculous to cover, but in this age of home-working could perhaps save your bacon when it comes to destroying sensitive office documents and even bank statements and the like to prevent identity fraud.
A disturbing trend then emerged from Australia of domestic abuse victims being trolled via the transaction descriptions on their bank statements as abusers transferring small amounts of money found a way to insert threatening language into the description. It really does make you despair about the human race at times.
The week finally drew to a close as it began with George Floyd very much in the hearts and minds of people and the Bundle of Racial Justice and Equality was launched for just $5 (or whatever you wished to donate) with all proceeds going to causes fighting for racial justice in America, so even if you couldn’t attend a protest, you could at least play a small part in making the world a better place.
We will see you at the same time next week for our round-up. Stay safe.