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NEW YORK (AP) - Sony is expected to unveil its next-generation gaming system at a New York event Wednesday evening, a development that would give the struggling electronics company a head start over Microsoft and an Xbox 360 successor.

The PlayStation 4 would be Sony Corp.'s first major game console since the PlayStation 3 went on sale in 2006. Microsoft Corp. is expected to unveil the next Xbox in June at the E3 video game expo in Los Angeles.

Underscoring the importance of a new PlayStation and the U.S. market, Sony is holding its announcement event in New York rather than in Japan, as it had in the past.

Analysts and gamers will be looking for details such as whether PlayStation will have a better online service to rival Xbox Live.

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