Sega stays commited to Dreamcast

Sega stays commited to Dreamcast

Sega said last week it is considering expanding its software business to supply games for platforms other than its own Dreamcast system, although remains fully committed to its own console.

The statement was issued in response to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shinbun's Wednesday morning edition that Sega plans shortly to discontinue manufacturing the Dreamcast console. Sega will stop accepting orders for Dreamcast consoles from April 1 but will continue manufacturing the unit from parts already in inventory until they run out, the newspaper said.

Sega, which is locked in a fierce battle for control of the home video game industry with Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) and Nintendo, said in the statement it remains committed to the Dreamcast platform and plans to release 100 titles for the system in the coming year, although it fell short of flatly denying the newspaper report. This mirrors a stance taken by Sega of America which issued a statement in the US, after news of the Japanese report broke.

"Sega of America stated today that the company globally reaffirms its commitment to Dreamcast. In fact, Sega has more than 100 games worldwide coming out for the platform in the next year. It is not Sega's policy to comment on rumours and the company has not made any statement regarding ceasing manufacturing of Dreamcast or development for other video game platforms," the statement said.

The newspaper report comes a day after Japan's JiJi Press news agency reported the company is on the verge of unveiling a new business plan that will see it begin producing games for rival SCEI's PlayStation 2 platform and the upcoming XBox from Microsoft.

In its statement, Sega confirmed that it was considering the option of producing software for the PlayStation 2 and GameBoy Advance platforms. The latter is the latest version of Nintendo's GameBoy system.

Additionally, Sega said it is also considering the use of the Dreamcast architecture in other devices such as personal computers and television set top boxes. Sega shares soared on the news, ending the day limit up 16 per cent.

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