According to unnamed SCEA representatives speaking to by consumer site GameSpot, Sony "will have an event to premiere [its] next-generation system" before E3.
Although there have been a few less blatant allusions to an unveiling of the console before E3, this is the first time the company has openly stated the fact, apparently contradicting recent comments about a debut at the E3 expo in May.
Sony has so far failed to indicate where and when the debut will take place, but has indicated that the public premiere will not occur at next month's Game Developers Conference, though more broad technical discussion may take place there. The most likely scenario would be a Japanese debut, similar to the Millennium event held in 2000 for the PlayStation 2.
However, the comments could equally refer to a U.S. event just a few days before E3. Indeed, Sony may simply be trying to force Microsoft’s hand in announcing the Xbox 2 hardware, a process long thought to be dependent on Sony’s own announcements.
Since Microsoft admitted that they would also not be premiering the next generation Xbox at GDC, the implication has been that it would not then be seen until E3. If Sony were able to show the PlayStation 3 before the new Xbox then they would have achieved first blood in the next generation PR console war – especially since Microsoft have long indicated that they intend the new Xbox to be the first next generation console to market.