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February 21, 2006

PS3: Spring 2006 release

Posted by Kim Peterson at 1:00 PM

There's been quite a bit of doom-and-gloom talk recently about Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 console, with analysts predicting production delays and high price tags. A Sony spokesman responded by confirming to reporters in Tokyo that the console will launch sometime in the spring, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

That's not to say it will hit U.S. stores by then. Sony could opt for a Japan-only release at first, with a U.S. debut later in the year. An anonymous Sony spokesman told the BBC News the company is aiming for spring but hasn't announced specific regional release dates.

Microsoft attempted a near-simultaneous release of the Xbox 360 in the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia, but drew criticism because of supply shortages everywhere except for Japan, where the consoles have been sitting on store shelves. Still, Microsoft is forecasting it will sell between 4.5 million and 5.5 million consoles by the end of June.

To put this in perspective: Sony's PlayStation 2 was out a full year before the original Xbox's November 2001 release, and Sony shipped 20 million consoles worldwide during that time.

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