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Sega signs AT&T for Dreamcast Net access

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Sega has signed up AT&T to provide access to American buyers of its Dramcast games console, as predicted. Of course, how many people will actually sign up for the service remains to be seen. The Dreamcast is due to begin shipping in the US on 9 September. Sega claims that over 200,000 consoles have already been ordered. That's higher than the 150,000 pre-orders it took in Japan, but given the relative sizes of the two markets, it's not that much higher, suggesting demand won't be as high as Sega would like. And with Sony's PlayStation II set to debut at the end of the year, it will be interesting to see how the prospect of a superior system coming on-stream a little way down the line affects Dreamcast sales. Equally, even though the Dreamcast contains a 56Kbps modem, games that take full advantage of it to allow online multiplayer bouts aren't set to ship until next year, by which time Sony's PlayStation II plans should be a lot clearer. The AT&T service will cost $9.95 for ten hours' access a month, $19.95 for 150 hours a month connection time, or $21.95 for unlimited access. In the UK and Europe, Dreamcast users will get unlimited Net access free of charge through a deal Sega struck with British Telecom earlier this year. ®

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