However, as European news site GamesIndustry.biz points out, Sony often holds launch events just a few days ahead of E3, and nothing the Sony representatives said this week can't apply to such a timeframe as to, say, a late March announcement.
That the event might come much sooner than just ahead of E3 was signalled by Sony itself at its annual analysts' day. Its roadmap, which accurately listed the Japanese and US PlayStation Portable release timeframes, points to an announcement well ahead of E3, in Q1 2005, the last quarter of Sony's FY2004, when ends on 31 March.
Schedules change, of course - look what appears to have happened with the PSP's European launch. But with the formal unveiling of the PS3's processor, 'Cell', this week - not to mention the anticipated launch of Xbox 2, and possibly Nintendo's 'Revolution' too, at E3 - Sony may well want to kick-start public interest in PS3 as soon as it can.
Then again, the console is more than a year away from shipping - according to the previously mentioned roadmap - so a month here or there now may not matter too much to Sony. The Register reports more information.