Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, a spokesperson for Sony Computer Entertainment has clarified comments made by CEO Howard Stringer recently regarding a spring launch for PS3.
"Ken Kutaragi, president of SCE, announced a spring target date for the launch of PlayStation 3 at this year's E3, and it appears that Sir Howard confirmed it at yesterday's strategy meeting," the spokesperson said.
"We have not yet announced detailed launch dates for each region," he continued, adding: "If you look at how close Microsoft announced release dates to the launch of the Xbox 360, it's rather unrealistic to expect PS3 dates now."
Microsoft made its announcement at the Tokyo Game Show last week, informing a packed press conference that the Xbox 360 would launch in North America on November 22, in Europe on December 2 and in Japan on December 10.
Industry insiders believe it's unlikely that Sony will follow suit and adopt such a short global launch window - indications are that the PS3 will go on sale in Japan around April or May, with European and US launches expected later in the year. Some analysts have even predicted that the console won't make it outside of Japan until 2007.
It's a question of whether history will repeat itself - Sony's PlayStation Portable handheld finally launched in Europe on September 1, nine months after it was released in Japan and five months after the US launch.