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EA expects PS3 to arrive by mid-2006 - Jenson

Next generation timescale could see Microsoft and Sony platforms launching together.

Electronic Arts' CFO Warren Jenson has told an investment conference in the USA that the company currently expects the Xbox 2 and PS3 to launch within six months of each other, in a window beginning in late 2005.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIII Conference earlier this week, Jenson said that EA is expecting to see Microsoft launching Xbox 2 for the holiday season in 2005, with PS3 following no more than six months afterwards.

While Jenson did qualify his statements by saying that EA doesn't have all the information about the launches as yet, and that the information they do have isn't perfect, his comments will be seen as further confirmation of the widely rumoured Xbox 2 launch timescale.

They also place the PlayStation 3 closer on the timeline than some had expected; confusion over Sony's development plans for the console has led some commentators to push their guesses on the date out as far as winter 2006, but Jenson suggested that the firm may even launch as early as late 2005 to avoid giving Microsoft a significant headstart.

Aside from his comments on the next-generation platforms, the bulk of Jenson's presentation focused on Electronic Arts' performance within the games industry and on comparisons with similar market-leading companies in other media and technology industries.

He told the conference that EA has consistently grown the number of titles selling over a million units, from 13 titles in 2001 to 27 titles in 2004, and said that as of August 2004, EA has three franchises which have generated over a billion dollars in cumulative revenue - Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer and The Sims - and seven further titles which have generated over $500 million.

In comparing EA with other companies, Jenson showed that EA has a higher share of international revenue as a percentage of total revenue than News Corp, Disney, Time Warner or Viacom, proving that the firm's franchises have global appeal.

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