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Japanese firm offers 50,000 free Dreamcasts

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The so-called 'Free PC Revolution' may have been quelled at the first shot, but a Japanese company is hoping that it may fare rather better if it gives away 50,000 Sega Dreamcast consoles. The scheme, run by Japan's J-Data Co., follows the free-PC pattern pretty closely. In order to receive a gratis Dreamcast, punters will have to cough up a Y3000 ($28.05) membership fee and a Y2480 ($23.18) monthly charge for one year's subscription to Japanese ISP Momotaro Internet, according to a report on the Nikkei newswire. Subscribers' contracts can't be cancelled during the first year, which J-Data said was an advantage over free-PC deals, which typically tied subscribers into a given ISP for three years. True, but then PCs cost rather more than Dreamcasts. Financially, J-Data reckons it will make enough out of its cut of Momotaro's subscription fees and through online sales made via an e-commerce operation it intends to launch and market heavily to all those folk with free Dreamcasts. Advertising is probably part of the revenue mix, too. ® Would-be Dreamcast owners can sign up at Free-DC.com

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