A late 2005 launch date for the PlayStation 3 looks increasingly likely today, with confirmation from Elpida that it will be beginning production of memory chips for the console early that year.
Earlier this year, Elpida was officially named as the memory supplier for the PS3, with the company set to supply memory architecture based on the Rambus XDR DRAM technologies. The same brand of memory will also be used on other Cell based broadband devices.
Both Elpida and Toshiba, which is also to manufacture XDR DRAM chips, will be beginning initial production in late 2004, and will ramp up to full production in early 2005. It's likely that the vast bulk of Elpida's output will be destined for PlayStation 3.
This suggests a production schedule for the PS3 which would see the console launching in 2005, as anticipated by most pundits. We're not gambling types, but if we were, we'd put money on a mid-2005 launch in Japan, followed by US and European launches only a few months apart later that year - perhaps September 2005 in the USA, and November 2005 in Europe...