Sega to introduce games for handheld

CIOL Bureau
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SAN FRANCISCO: Game maker Sega Corp and software developer Synovial Inc of

America on Thursday announced a deal that will this year bring classic Sega

games such as "Sonic The Hedgehog" to handheld computers. Under the

deal, Sega of America, the US unit of Japan's Sega, will license its game

content to privately held Synovial.


The first product derived from the alliance is Virtual Game Gear, software

that resurrects Sega's defunct Game Gear handheld game system on devices powered

by Microsoft Corp.'s Pocket PC operating system (OS), such as Compaq Computer

Corp's iPAQ.

Synovial said the Virtual Game Gear software and games will be embedded into

new Pocket PC computers sold later this year, and users will eventually have the

option buy additional games.

Sega, which earlier this year unplugged its gaming hardware business to focus

on making software, said the partnership marks the first time its game content

will appear on a personal digital assistant, or PDA, in the US.


Sega on Thursday said it continues to work on creating games for Palm Inc.'s

Palm OS, the most popular handheld computer operating system and chief rival to

Pocket PC. But few details have emerged regarding the timing or scope of those

Palm-based products.

Nearly 350 games were developed by Sega and third party software makers for

Sega Game Gear, which was unveiled in 1991. When introduced, Synovial's Virtual

Game Gear will allow Pocket PCs to simulate the same "gaming

experience" that consumers enjoyed on Game Gear, the company said.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.