Join Date: May 2002
Following yesterday's PS3 news, this morning's PlayStation Meeting 2004 in Tokyo had some very exciting revelations. Fancy seeing PS3 in less than five months?
Following yesterday's revelation that PlayStation 3 will publicly debut at E3 2005 in Los Angeles next May, today saw Sony Computer Entertainment's annual PlayStation Meeting conference kick off in full - with the amazing news that in fact, the PS2 successor will be unveiled to the world before the end of 2004.
The exciting news brings the next generation even closer to tangibility, and means we only have to wait five months for the scoop on what PlayStation 3 will actually offer - and perhaps what it will look like. It also increases the chances of Microsoft deciding to play its hand on an Xbox 2 unveiling - at least in official name/specs form - as early as September this year, when the company's European X04 event is scheduled to take place. Microsoft has continually said it will be first to market with its Xbox successor.
Ken Kutaragi could get PS3 on Japanese shelves for Christmas 2005, with European launch following in Early 2006.
PlayStation 3 Schedule
The first generation PS3 development kits - still carrying the TOOL name first sported by the PS2 kits, will be shipping to developers at the start of 2005, although it has already been reported that some leading publishers already have demos up and running on systems that are simulating the expected PS3 specs.
PS3 to be unveiled at the end of this year - with full pubic exhibition at E3 2005 next May - and playable titles likely at TGS 2005 next September.
Sony's presentation at the event showed a PlayStation timeline, and in fact the PS3 was referred to as "Next System", suggesting that there may be a completely new name for the machine - although we find that an unlikely prospect considering the brand investment in "PlayStation" to date.
The timeline revealed that the Next System will premiere before the end of 2004. But with a public exhibition of the machine now confirmed for E3 in May 2005, and software expected at the following Tokyo Game Show next September, it's quite likely that the premiere later this year will be relatively small, similar to the way in which PS2 and PSP were both first officially announced.
As we reported yesterday, it is possible that PlayStation 3 might actually go on sale in Japan in time for Christmas 2005, judging by timescale-related nattering from SCEI boss Ken Kutaragi. Should that prove to be the case, the software line-up would be pretty modest, as developers would have had less than a year with the full kits - although that problem didn't exactly stop PS2 shipping early and instantly flying off Japanese shelves.
Whatever the case, the release of the machine during 2006 in western markets is something you can pretty much take to the bank.
PlayStation 3 to be revealed by end of 2004
Rob Fahey 12:05 13/07/2004
First glimpse of PS3 set to come before the new year, according to Sony schedule
Sony's next-generation console system will be unveiled before the end of this year, it has emerged, with the first generation of development kits for the platform set to ship to developers at the start of 2005.
The news emerged at the PlayStation Meeting 2004 event in Tokyo, where Sony revealed a graphic showing the planned timeline for the future of its four console platforms - PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP and the ambiguously labelled "Next System".
According to the timeline, the premiere of the next-generation system will come before the end of 2004, around the fifth anniversary of the launch of the PlayStation 2, with version one of the TOOL development kit for next-generation being ready for the start of 2005.
As was reported yesterday, the system will be present at E3 2005 in Los Angeles next May, although it's expected that playable titles will not be available until the Tokyo Games Show in September 2005 - at which point a second version of the TOOL will also become available to developers.
This schedule is remarkably similar to the one being followed by the PlayStation Portable - and while the graph did not give any notion of a release date for the system, if it follows the PSP model then PlayStation 3 could be in the hands of Japanese consumers in time for Christmas 2005, with a launch in the USA and Europe in early 2006.
However, it still remains probable, given the complexity of the technology in the PS3 and the amount of time it will take developers to get to grips with the hardware, that the system will not launch in the Far East until 2006, with a worldwide launch window that extends through to the second half of 2006.
This will give Microsoft, which plans to launch its next generation hardware in 2005, a Christmas to itself and around six months to build a lead before Sony's next system appears on the scene - although with information about the PS3 likely to build up steadily after the unveiling late this year, the next-generation Xbox will, as expected, have to provide a compelling proposition to consumers to prevent them from deciding to wait for the new Sony system to arrive.