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Cisco puts TiVo, Nintendo on shopping list?

Who's next buy for networking giant?

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Cisco has made clear it is moving into consumer electronics, but could it really buy Nintendo or Tivo?

The strategy has been well signposted - chief development officer Charles Giancarlo told the Financial Times earlier this month that home electronics devices were no longer standalone devices but would increasingly be networked devices, which Cisco understands.

And Cisco usually moves into new markets through acquisition - in 2003 Cisco bought Linksys, which makes wireless network products aimed at home and small business users. Earlier this year it bought set-top box and digital video recorder manufacturer Scientific Atlanta.

So who will Cisco buy next? A source told CNET there's "potential for an interesting partnership" between Cisco and Tivo, which is true, but does not point to a takeover. Another possible target is Ruckus Wireless, which helps send video and multimedia over domestic Wi-Fi networks, according to a CNET news analysis.

The final potential mate for Cisco identified by the CNET piece is Nintendo. Playing games is a big application for broadband, but that doesn't mean that buying a games company is a good idea for Cisco.

In August last year Nintendo bought some of its own shares back to defend itself against hostile takeover. The company previously rejected an offer from Microsoft. ®

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