Following recent reports
that Sony Computer Entertainment Japan would be holding an annual developer meeting on March 15th, and that new details on the PlayStation 3 might be revealed there, SCEJ has officially opened the Tokyo meeting (normally closed to all but developers) to both the press and analysts.
Naturally, this has fueled speculation that Sony Computer Entertainment President Ken Kutaragi, who is confirmed to be present at the meeting, will announce one or all of the major milestones for the company's PlayStation 3 console, including a possible launch date and/or price.
Yuta Sakurai, a senior financial analyst with Nomura Securities, commented to Reuters with regard to the change of plans regarding publicity for the meeting: "These events typically address platform strategy, loyalty structures, development-related plans and other details that aren't as interesting to us, but the fact that they opened the meeting up raises the possibility that there might be more."
Sony's only recent announcement on the console has been to continue to reference a 'Spring 2006' release date, without specifying which region this refers to. But most analysts not believe a staggered Japanese and U.S. launch in the second half (and, most likely last quarter) of 2006 is likely for the PS3, with other Asian and European launches possibly delayed until 2007.
In addition, Sony's Phil Harrison is making what is presumed to be a developer-specific keynote at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose on March 22nd, titled 'PlayStation 3: Beyond the Box', and dealing with "the new creative, technical, and business opportunities provided by the arrival of PlayStation 3". In any case, between these two events, it's clear that much more information on PS3 will be available in the next 7 days.
Gamasutra will publish further detailed information on both events immediately following their conclusion.