The hopes and dreams of rabid PlayStation fans worldwide were realized for a short while last weekend, when the Bloomberg news service reported a Taiwanese manufacturer source as saying that the PlayStation 3 will come out this year, two years ahead of Sony's previous schedule. Unfortunately—judging from Sony's comments today—the source was full of it.
According to the report, Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, one of Sony's chief PS2 manufacturers, was set to begin production of the first PS3 test units at the start of next month. The retail system could then hit Japanese stores in the middle of the year, with the U.S. and European version coming out before the end of 2003—giving Sony a giant lead over Nintendo and Microsoft's next-generation systems, both reportedly set for a 2005 release.
However, as Sony spokesman Koichiro Katsurayama told Bloomberg earlier today, "this is a false report... We have not chosen a release date for the new system." Katsurayama also added that Sony has not officially announced the name of their next console, so it might be a bit early to start calling it "PS3" quite yet.