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New Year Special Features '99

  • Sega to Grab 50 Percent of Video Game Market: President
  • January 7, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Sega Enterprises Ltd. moved into the spotlight since it began marketing its new "Dreamcast" video game machine on Nov. 27, 1998.
    BizTech interviewed Sega's President, Shoichiro Irimajiri, on the company's outlook for 1999 onward, with Dreamcast as the mainstay product for sales.

    BizTech: I assume that you expect Dreamcast to shoulder the future of Sega Enterprises. How far do you think Dreamcast is going to penetrate into the market?

    Irimajiri: I can't come up with any specific figures at this time, but within five years from 1999, we plan to get more than 50 percent share of the world's market for home-use video game machines. With that in mind, we plan to push Dreamcast into the U.S. and European markets during business year 1999.

    BizTech: Dreamcast was sold out in great many stores immediately after going on sale, and from what I hear production still hasn't caught up with sales. Won't that situation stand in the way of further popularization of Dreamcast?

    Irimajiri: It's true that production hasn't caught up, but we expect to resolve the production problem early in 1999 so that users will be able to get one at any of the stores without advance orders. I don't think the delay in production will bar its popularization.

    BizTech: One of the factors leading to the popularization of a video game machine is the amount of software and its content. What is your opinion?

    Irimajiri: We're thinking of developing some completely new types of software that never before existed. Of course we intend to keep increasing the amount of game software by making full use of Dreamcast's communication functions. Instead of limiting our target to the younger generation, we also plan to develop the kinds of software that will appeal to a wide range of age brackets.

    BizTech: We've heard a rumor about Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. coming up with a new PlayStation. If that becomes a reality, how would you cope with the situation?

    Irimajiri: The fact that the high-performance, low-priced Dreamcast was put on the market at that time made it gain the upper hand over video game machines to be sold by other companies in the future.

    We are also calling for cooperation by many software houses so that we won't lag behind others in the amount of software and we are sure about the results, too. We are fully confident about competing with other companies' next-generation video game machines.

    BizTech: Are you thinking of cutting the hardware price so that Dreamcast might draw more public attention?

    Irimajiri: As of now we are not thinking of any price cut.

    BizTech: The Japanese economy is expected to continue its stagnant performance in 1999. Do you think Sega will be affected? What kind of company is Sega going to be in the future?

    Irimajiri: As you say, the economic situation in Japan probably won't change much from 1998. We can't expect Sega alone to be outside the influence.

    But we feel that that's when we should provide people with "fun and excitement." Whether in times of a booming economy or recession, Sega will continue to provide the world with "digital entertainment."

    Related stories:
    � Sega's Dreamcast Game Machine Enjoys Brisk Sales
    � Sega Unveils Prepaid Internet Access Service for Dreamcast
    � Sony Unit to Outline Next-Generation PlayStation Soon

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Wed Jan 6 16:42:21 1999 PDT