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Tuesday, June 05, 2001
Sega and Sony to Link Game Consoles Via Internet
Japanese game maker Sega and Sony 's game unit plan to enable users of their
consoles to play video games via the Internet.
The move, letting Sega's Dreamcast console connect with Sony Computer
Entertainment's (SCE) PlayStation 2 -- the industry's first cross-console networking
-- is aimed at expanding the online gaming market, a Sega spokesman said on Tuesday.
The announcement came as little surprise to the share market as the firms, once
rivals in a game hardware battle, said in January they would collaborate in online
game applications and services.
Sega, in the midst of dramatic transformation to a game software maker after pulling
the plug on its loss-making game hardware business, plans to release a new version
of its popular online game software series in August for Dreamcast.
This will be followed by the release of the same titles for PlayStation 2 and
The discontinued Dreamcast console, launched in 1999, was the first advanced game
system offering realistic graphics and online play, and has attracted around 800,000
online members, nearly 30 percent of the total Dreamcast users in Japan.
Sega, known for its ``Sonic The Hedgehog'' game character, is also discussing
similar deals with Nintendo and Microsoft both of which are ramping up for the
release of new high-powered game boxes later this year, the spokesman said.
The agreement is also part of Sony's groundwork for an online strategy, with the aim
of making the PlayStation 2 a home entertainment center rather than just a game
Sony, the market-share leader with its PlayStation series, envisages its consoles
becoming all-in-one consumer entertainment systems, complete with the ability to
play movies and music and to browse the Web.