Sega, AT&T to launch gaming portal
(IDG) -- Sega of America Inc., gearing up for the release of its modem-equipped Dreamcast video-game console next month, has chosen AT&T Corp. as its "strategic Internet gaming partner," according to Sega's president and chief operating officer.
"AT&T WorldNet will serve as the preferred ISP (Internet service provider) for Sega Dreamcast, allowing access to the Internet with ease and plug-and-play," Sega's Bernard Stolar said during a teleconference Tuesday.
AT&T will provide access to a "Dreamcast network" featuring chat, e-mail, Web browsing and, by next year, online gaming, he said.
"The Sega Dreamcast network will be world's largest dedicated gaming community," Stolar said. "It will allow people to interact and communicate with Dreamcast games, making it the definitive gaming portal."
Sega on Monday announced that pre-sell orders for the Dreamcast console have "far surpassed" video-game retail records in North America, reporting more than 200,000 orders six weeks before its September 9 release date.
"With less than six weeks to go, we expect the total to reach 250,000 to 300,000 units [before the release]," Stolar said.
More than 15,000 stores across the United States are expected to sell the Dreamcast console at the time of its launch, and Sega expects to sell more than 400,000 units in the first month, and 1 million by the end of the year.
Sega calls Dreamcast, priced at $199, a "superconsole." It comes with a 56K-bps modem; 128-bit architecture that, according to Sega, enables evolutionary capabilities; and a Visual Memory Unit (VMU) that offers hand-held gaming, allowing users to swap games in the home, in the arcade or in head-to-head play.
The company expects 16 game titles to be released by the time of the launch, with a total of 30 available before the end of 1999.
Portals in the palm of your hand
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Sega reports 200,000 pre-sell orders for Dreamcast
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