100,000 Sega Dreamcast players log onto Internet

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TOKYO--Sega Enterprises says that as of January 4 the number of Dreamcast users signed up for Internet access exceeds 100,000. Dreamcast is a home video entertainment system the company released in Japan in late November 1998, which comes with a modem to enable video game players to access the Internet. Because of Dreamcast's strong sales, SEGA has decided to provide users with free Internet access until April, extending its original one-month offering. Dreamcast sales between November 27 and the weekend before Christmas totaled approximately 350,000 units, according to a spokesman.

Sega Enterprises will offer its Dreamcast 128bit video game machine directly over the Internet to consumers in the U.S. and Europe when it introduces the product in those regions in September 1999. The company, which will also sell the machine through existing channels, believes online shopping will really take hold in the year-end holiday sales season in 99. Internet sales of the video machine are expected to account for as much as 20-30% of total sales. Dreamcast shipments in Europe are projected to reach 700,000 to 1 million units and in the U.S. 1 million to 1.5 million units by March 2000.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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