Sega eyes Palm as games platform

Development work in progress

Sega's decision to drop Dreamcast and focus on software sales will see the company expand beyond its games machine roots to alternative platforms - including, the company said today, Palm PDAs.

The move will see Sega offering both Web-based online titles - possibly derived from the Java-based cellphone-oriented games it's working on with Motorola - and downloadable games, all of which will be made available "sometime this year".

Presumably, driving the development of Palm-oriented games is the imminent arrival of more PDAs equipped with colour screens, though it's worth recalling that the original GameBoy did very nicely thank you with only a basic monochrome LCD.

Palm is expected to bring colour to its Palm V family -to be renamed the m50x line - next March. We've heard it will be similarly upgrading the Palm VII family, and if there isn't a colour m100 in the works, we'd be very surprised indeed.

And don't forget, Sony is scheduled to ship its colour Clié PalmOS-based PDA in the US during this quarter.

And then there are all those PocketPC machines out there. Sega US' President and COO said: "We feel Palm handhelds are one of the best vehicles for enjoying Sega games anytime, anywhere." You'll note that's "one of the best" not "the best".

Equally non-committal was Palm's content and Net access chief, Barry Cottle. He said: "Sega games would add an exciting entertainment option for MyPalm portal wireless users and all Palm handheld users worldwide."

"Would" isn't the same thing as "will". ®

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