If you've been keeping up with news regarding the development of the "Cell" chip that will eventually power Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 console, you're no doubt aware that Sony is partnering with multiple companies to get this new chip off the ground.

So, it shouldn't be too-too much of a surprise to learn that the first device to be manufactured with the Cell chip inside won't be the new PlayStation console. Instead, Sony and IBM revealed details Monday on a plan to produce a high-end workstation PC for computer graphics production that should start shipping in 2005.

As for the PlayStation 3, Sony executives said that they intend to show a prototype of the new console at the upcoming E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in May 2005. No on-sale date has been mentioned, but judging from past prototype-to-launch cycles, the PS3 most likely won't be ready for mass production until late 2005 (next Christmas?) or early 2006.

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