|★ GAMES ★ EDITEURS ★ MASTERTRONIC ENDS SEGA SAGA ★|
|Mastertronic - Ends Sega Saga|Popular Computing Weekly)||Mastertronic - We Are the Kings Of Budget|Amstrad Computer User)||Mastertronic History|
GAMES consoles were much in evidence at this summer's Consumer Electronics Show held in Chicago last weekend.
Mastertronic's strong presence (it was one of the very few British companies there) was reinforced by its announcement that it has taken on the distribution of the Sega games console in a deal signed last Saturday Mastertronic says it plans to launch the Sega machine in September in the UK. at a price of £99. The company also has access to all 30 Sega cartridge software titles, and will initially release 12 of them this autumn The plan is apparently to get the machine itself safely into the shops this year with some software, and concentrating on building up the software base in 1988.
No prices have yet been fixed for the software, but Mastertronic also hopes that third party companies will begin publishing software for the Sega on cartridge.
The company hopes to sell the machine through computer and consumer electronics outlets, toy stores, "whoever will take it", as one Mastertronic executive is reported to have said.
This news finally settles the long running Sega saga - the machine was originally to have been distributed by Ariolasoft, but the two companies apparently could not agree on a pricing policy
Also on the games console front. Nintendo, which currently dominates the market, exhibited with a number of new software packages using 3D glasses for added effect. Sega also took advantage of this particular add-on, with a 3D missile defence game (glasses required). Atari also took a large stand at the show, where it showed its two PC models in the same configuration as the UK version for the first time - a basic 'consumer priced'PC clone, and an enhanced version with graphic adaptors.
Atari also showed a new disc drive for its 8-bit range; it has three times the capacity of the current model, but will, according to Atari, sell for the same price. Details of availability in the UK are as yet unclear.
The company also launched its 65XE games console to the US consumer, a product previously understood to be exclusively for the European market. In the States, the machine will be bundled with Flight Simulator and Missile Command, a deal that could yet find its way over here On the subject of flight simulators, Microprose US had a real one running on its stand and has promised to being it to the UK for the PCW show at Olym-pia. London, in late September.
The show was probably more software than hardware orientated this year - apart from the games consoles and Atari Commodore did not take a stand for the second year running, and would appear to have written CES out of its show plans.