Sega of America Responds

GameSpot News speaks with Sega of America about comments made by Isao Okawa, chairman of its parent company.

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GameSpot News sat down with Sega of America on Thursday to discuss comments made by CSK and Sega Enterprises Chairman Isao Okawa at an event earlier Wednesday night in San Francisco. In a discussion with members of the press, Okawa revealed his intention to move Sega's focus from hardware to the Internet. Things got interesting when in relation to the Dreamcast, Okawa mentioned that whether a monumental success or not the company would remove itself from the hardware market.

According to Sega of America, Okawa is extremely interested in the online market, stating that his main focus with CSK is to create a global network. The Dreamcast is an integral part of this global network, as it serves as the gateway to network access. Sega of America claims that if the Dreamcast does become a success, that we could expect further versions of the Dreamcast hardware in the future. This however directly conflicts with what Okawa said last night. A Sega of America spokesperson suggested that perhaps there was a mistranslation of what Okawa stated in Japanese.

Sega of America maintains that if the Dreamcast is a success the company will produce future consoles. However, SOA gave no definition of what the company considers success. Granted, if the Dreamcast were to sell 65 million units like the PlayStation has since its inception, then another console would be a strong likelihood - in fact, a spokesperson stated that Sega would be crazy not to sell another. However, GameSpot News speculates there's no indication right now that the Dreamcast console will achieve sales like that. Okawa may very well have had that in mind. And previously a Sega of America spokesperson has told GameSpot News that if the Dreamcast is not a success, the company will not produce another console.

The Sega of America spokesperson did not deny the possibility that CSK could potentially offer its global network on hardware other than Sega's. He also mentioned that if the company were to release new hardware after the Dreamcast, it would likely cater further to Okawa's global network ideas, and could then, essentially be labeled a "set top box."

So despite Okawa's mention of a shift in focus from hardware to the Internet, Sega of America does not want people to rule out the possibility of another "console" from the company in the future. This however, could very well be Sega spin - the company's own brand of crowd control. On the brink of its most important holiday season to date, it's safe to say Sega does not want people speculating over the company's potential withdrawal from the hardware market.

If there's one certainty that can be discerned from Mr. Okawa's statements, Sega Enterprises is an evolving company interested in being on the forefront of the network revolution, just like everyone else. Regardless of whether or not this means the company will or won't release another console, this is definitely a new Sega moving in a new direction.

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