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Sega Dreamcast sales shrink

US and European shipments fall below company expectations

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Sega admitted yesterday that US and European Dreamcast sales aren't going as well as the company had hoped.

It's not hard to see why: with the launch of the PlayStation 2 in both those territories coming up, gamers are undoubtedly holding back to see just what the Sony box can do. A lack of good new software hasn't helped either, and that's what Sega itself blames the shortfall upon.

Not that it would say how far current Dreamcast sales are off target. Indeed, Sega said it was sticking to its projections of annual sales of 2.5 million consoles in the US and 1.2 million more in Europe, all in the 12 months to March 2001, the end of Sega's fiscal year.

Sega noted that Japanese sales continue to match expectations - one million units by fiscal year end - and on that basis, it presumably believes the dip in the US and Europe is only temporary and sales will pick up later, around Christmas, to compensate. And it hopes the launch of its SegaNet ISP on 7 September will help drive console sales back up.

Sony will ship the PlayStation 2 in the US on 26 October, with the European roll-out following just over a month later. The company expects to sell ten million PS2s worldwide by the end of March 2001, more than twice as many machines as Sega is hoping to shift. ®

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