Gamers will get their first glimpse of the next-generation PlayStation in May next year, Sony has said.
Sony has sold more than 70 million PlayStation 2s
The electronics giant is planning to show off the console at the annual E3 video games trade show in Los Angeles.
But the chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, Ken Kutaragi, did not say when the machine would go on sale to the public.
Rivals Microsoft and Nintendo are also working on new consoles, which could be unveiled at the same LA event.
The PlayStation is the world's best-selling games console.
The PlayStation 2 (PS2) had sold more than 70 million copies by March this year, far ahead of Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube.
The PS2 was helped by the fact that it went on sale a year head of its rivals, giving Sony a lead the others have not been able to claw back.
The new console from Nintendo is codenamed "Revolution"
Its competitors are aiming to prevent a repeat of the same scenario and are racing to be the first to release the next generation of console.
Sony has now given its clearest indication yet of when its new machine will see the light of day.
At a briefing with developers, suppliers and media in Tokyo, Mr Kutaragi said it was planning to showcase its new console at next year's E3.
"There has been some talk that development is not going well, but we expect to have a playable version at E3," he said.
"We are pushing ahead with that schedule in mind."
He did not say when the console would be released. But the PS2 went on sale in Japan almost a year after it was first unveiled.
Nintendo has already indicated that it hopes to showcase its new machine, codenamed Revolution, at next year's E3, too.
And Microsoft is expected to follow suit with its successor to the Xbox to avoid being left behind.