Sega going high-tech on karaoke

Sonic's creator may have retired from the home console business, but it will release a next-generation machine for the karaoke industry.

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TOKYO--Sega gave up on making video game consoles, but that doesn't mean it completely retreated from the hardware industry. Aside from being a major arcade machine manufacturer, Sega is also known as one of the big karaoke machine distributors in Japan.

The company's musical subsidiary, Sega Music Networks, today announced that it will release a next-generation karaoke machine named Candoone. The biggest feature of Candoone will be that the machine is broadband enabled, which allows it to download additional instrument sounds and play back music with tunes that are more true to their originals. The Candoone also has other nifty features: a digital camera that can be used for visualization purposes on the karaoke machine's screen and an IC card reader that will let users transcribe song history and save "membership points."

Aside from a LAN port for broadband connection, Candoone also comes with a number of options that can be used to expand its functions, including a USB slot, a high-definition monitor connection, and the ability to play in 5.1 surround sound.

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