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PlayStation anticipation casts shadow on games sales

Eidos is a bit worried

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First PlayStation-expectation did for Dreamcast sales, and now it's hitting UK games retail sales too, according to games publisher Eidos' chairman, Ian Livingstone.

"There continues to be a low level of activity in the retail market," he admitted yesterday, according to UK newswires. The reason: "Anticipation of the release of Sony's PlayStation 2."

In other words, people aren't buying as many games right now. They're choosing instead to save their pocket money for a new console and the titles that will ship alongside it.

Of course, while Eidos might be worried about the current slow-down, it knows full well that once the PlayStation 2 ships, the market will skyrocket. The hype that will surround the console's release in late November will almost certainly have a knock-on effect on sales of the original PlayStation and its library of titles, not to mention consoles like Sega's Dreamcast, bought by casual gamers dissatisfied with their inability to buy a PlayStation 2 because of the high demand.

Indeed, the initial batch of the next-generation console allocated to the UK has already sold out thanks to massive pre-ordering t'other week.

Still, that may not help Eidos, which has been having problems of late because few of its releases have sparked the interest of the gaming public. Eidos' early success was largely founded on the best-selling Tomb Raider and its first two sequels. More recent versions haven't proved as popular, with gamers looking for new thrills elsewhere.

Eidos' is pinning its hopes of a return to the glory days on upcoming games based on the movie Chicken Run and the dire quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? ®

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