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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

PlayStation 3 launch date in question

What Sony Corp. Chief Executive Howard Stringer didn't say at the recent Consumer Electronics Show about Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console spoke volumes about the key product's timetable, analysts say.

Giving a keynote speech at the huge Las Vegas trade show earlier this month, Stringer provided no updates about the product's U.S. launch.

Although Sony had a prominent location on the showroom floor at the annual convention, the Japanese giant showcased televisions and portable music players, while the PlayStation 3 was tucked behind glass in the back of its booth. Sony offered only non-playable, demonstration versions of a limited number of games.

Industry watchers now expect the product's U.S. launch in the second half of 2006, although Sony may get a Japanese version out during the "Spring 2006" launch window that the technology giant first predicted last year.

Any delays could make it much harder for Sony next holiday season as it races to put out its own new product to take on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 in the market for video game players.

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