Sega to take Xbox to arcades
By Martyn Williams
(IDG) -- Sega, Japan's leading arcade game maker, has announced plans to make a motherboard for arcade game machines based on Microsoft's new Xbox games console.
"We will be developing an arcade game motherboard for Xbox architecture and I think Sega will be exclusively working on this," said Tetsu Kayama, chief operating officer of Sega as he announced the partnership at the weekend's Tokyo Game Show.
The motherboard is the main board that contains almost all of the electronic components needed to run a system, including the central processor, memory and graphics processor. With an arcade machine board based on the Xbox architecture, it will be much easier to take Xbox games from the console to the arcade and vice versa.
Sega had few other details of the motherboard and did not detail whether it would replace or supplement the "Naomi" motherboard used in its current machines.
Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft, said he welcomed the news, although he said the company has no immediate plans to produce versions of any of its own Xbox games for the arcade platform. "It's possible we could do that at some point but it isn't really the main thrust of what we are interested in," he said in an interview at the show in Tokyo.
Sega's arcade game machines division is less than half the size of its consumer products division in terms of sales. In the last fiscal year, the division saw net sales of 73.6 billion yen (US$614 million) against 186.2 billion yen at the consumer products division. However, operating losses at the arcade division were much less: 2.7 billion yen versus 43.0 billion yen, respectively.
Sega, in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.sega.co.jp/.
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