The Sony PlayStation 3 will be officially unveiled to the public for the first time at E3 2005, Sony Computer Entertainment's CEO Ken Kutaragi confirmed at a Tokyo press conference this morning.
Kutaragi dismissed speculation that Sony's next console would suffer a delay: "There has been some talk that development for a next generation game console has not been going well, but we will have a playable version ready by next spring."
Recent press speculation put the release date of the PlayStation 3 as late as 2007, but a 2006 launch window is now a certainty, with Sony rolling the machine out in Japan first, as usual, with a staggered launch for the North American and European markets to follow.
Kutaragi refused to confirm the precise launch date of the PS3, but did indicate that it follow a similar schedule to previous Sony consoles, which would earmark a March 2006 release for Japan, October 2006 for North America and November 2006 for Europe.
Asked for official comment, a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe executive told Eurogamer: "SCEI has announced we are working on a next generation computer entertainment system (name to be confirmed), we plan to make further announcements on this next year."
It seems rather odd that Sony chose to point out that the name has not been confirmed yet. Could it be that Sony is giving serious consideration to being a little more imaginative than merely calling it PlayStation 3?