PlayStation Universe

Sony CEO confirms spring PS3 launch

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According to German website Gamefront, chairman and CEO of Sony, Sir Howard Stringer has added confirmation to Sony’s E3 press release that the company plans to launch its next generation console in the spring of 2006; much earlier than most industry observers had previously predicted.

Although no regions were mentioned in the statement, indications are that a Japanese launch would be first - around April or May, with European and US launches staggered later in the year, or early in 2007.

Sony competitors Microsoft are planning to launch the Xbox 360 console at the end of the year in order to gain a head start over Sony. The system will be shipped on November 22nd in America, with Europe and Japan receiving shipments on December 2nd and December 10th respectively. The company has made much of its tri-continent 'simultaneous' hardware launch strategy, which is a first for the industry.

Anticipation for the PS3 is exceptionally high amongst consumers, particularly in Sony's native Japan. A recent survey which questioned 500 male and 500 female console owners in Japan found that an overwhelming 72.3 percent said they would be buying the PS3.
Microsoft, who has struggled to secure a foothold in the Japanese market with the Xbox, is keen to do things differently in Japan with the Xbox 360 this time around. According to the survey however, only 5.8 percent said they were interested in the new Xbox console, compared to 29.1 percent who showed interest in buying the new Nintendo Revolution.

Sony has yet to officially confirm any specific dates or launch strategies for the PS3, leaving us with only a rough time frame of “spring” for the first PlayStation 3 release.