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.
Go here for some good information on the PS3, including (hopefully) the answers to such questions as how much will the PS3 cost, how powerful will it be and if will it play PS1 and PS2 games.