Sony Computer Entertainment and Sega have announced an exclusive distribution deal for seven PlayStation 2 titles.
The deal will see Sega produce seven games for the Sony console, which will be published, distributed and marketed by Sony. The move is undoubtedly aimed at cementing Sony's dominance in consoles - a market that is rapidly heating up with the anticipated release of Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's Cube later this year.
"The titles will not be available on any other console until beyond 2002," said Sony Computer Entertainment Australia managing director Michael Ephraim. "We are not only distributing, but also publishing and taking the games to market."
Having abandonned its Dreamcast console early this year, Sega is the latest developer to come to the PlayStation party. Konami has signed an exclusive agreement for its Metal Gear Solid 2. Squaresoft has followed suit with Final Fantasy X and The Bouncer, while Capcom's Devil May Cry will only be available in the PS2 format until the end of 2002.
"A title such as Virtua Fighter is a critical title," Ephraim said. "This shows Sony is ensuring great games are available on the PlayStation 2 and they are available exclusively. Hardware is important. But with consoles, what the consumers can do with them is really what it is all about. Software is really the thing that sways consumers one way or another."
The games include two titles in the Space Channel 5 series, K-Project, Virtual Fighter 4, F 355 Challenge, Head Hunter and Ecco the Dolphin.
The first of the Sega titles is expected by the end of this year.