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Game console vendor Nintendo yesterday took a lead from its rival, Sony, and formed an alliance with Japanese convenience store chain Lawson to build a network of in-shop Net terminals linked to Lawson's e-commerce Web site, according to today's FT. The deal immediately gives Nintendo a three per cent stake, but the vendor is hoping the real result will be increased sales of game cartridges. Customers can go on line, order Nintendo games and pick them up and pay for them in a day or so from their local Lawson store. Nintendo's scheme is rather smaller in scope than Sony's venture, announced last month. The Sony project deal connects convenience store terminals with leading Japanese music, video and games retailers and Sony's own e-commerce operation. The service will offer not only games but also a full line of CDs and DVDs supplied through Sony's retail partners. Again, the idea is that goods will be delivered to the buyer's nearest shop for collection and payment. Yesterday's deal marks Nintendo's second venture with Lawson. The console company already allows customers to download games to portable consoles and Internet-capable mobile phones from any of 7200 in-store terminals. ® Related Stories Sony goes direct in Japan with online Vaio store Sony to launch e-commerce biz to serve PlayStation 2 users

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