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Serious play at Tokyo Game Show

By Martyn Williams

(IDG) -- The weekend's Tokyo Game Show just outside the Japanese capital was accompanied by the usual lights, monitors, female models and stage shows that make up the twice-yearly exhibition.

With the launch of its Xbox game console just over a month away in the United States and planned for late February in Japan, Microsoft made its presence felt with the largest booth at the exhibition.

The company used the exhibition to announce deals with two new Japanese software developers and an extension of its partnership with Sega to include games from the company's two most famous game studios for Xbox. INFOCENTER
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In addition to the Microsoft news, Sega announced plans to become a platform-agnostic games developer with titles for all major platforms -- the Xbox, Nintendo's Gamecube and Sony's PlayStation series. The company is also working on games for the personal computer and cell phones.

Sega exited the hardware business earlier this year when it closed production of its Dreamcast console to become a pure software supplier.

Sega also said it plans to produce a motherboard for arcade game machines based on the Xbox platform.

Among games on display at the exhibition, just over half were for the PlayStation platforms illustrating the current power of Sony's console family. The PlayStation 2 led the game platform ranking with 25.7 percent of games on display aimed at the console, according to data from the show organizers, the Consumer Entertainment Software Association (CESA).

It was followed by the original PlayStation, at 24.5 percent; GameBoy Advance, 15 percent; PC, 9.7 percent; Xbox, 5.9 percent; cell phone, 4.1 percent; GameBoy, 3.2 percent; Dreamcast, 2.9 percent; Gamecube, 2.9 percent; Wonderswan, 2.4 percent; and Nintendo 64, 0.3 percent.

Nintendo's poor showing, despite the recent launch of the Gamecube, is largely because the company previously pulled out of the Game Show to hold its own event, Nintendo Space World.

The CESA's ranking of games on display by genre showed action titles to be most popular. They accounted for 18.7 percent of titles on display followed by, among main genres, role-playing games (RPGs), 16.9 percent; simulations, 10.9 percent; sports, 7.9 percent; adventure, 6 percent; shooting, 4.5 percent; puzzles, 3.6 percent, and racing, 3.3 percent.


• The Tokyo Game Show
• Sega Corp.

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