Sega to take Xbox to video arcades

Sega Corp., Japan's leading arcade game maker, announced plans Friday to make a motherboard for arcade game machines based on Microsoft Corp.'s new Xbox games console.

"We will be developing an arcade game motherboard for Xbox architecture and I think Sega will be exclusively working on this," said Tetsu Kayama, chief operating officer (COO) of Sega, announcing the partnership at the Tokyo Game Show, which began Friday.

The motherboard is the main board that contains almost all of the electronic components needed to run a system, including the central processor, memory and graphics processor. With an arcade machine board based on the Xbox architecture, it will be much easier to take Xbox games from the console to the arcade and vice versa.

Sega had few other details of the motherboard and did not detail whether it would replace or supplement the "Naomi" motherboard used in its current machines.

Sega's arcade game machines division is less than half the size of its consumer products division in terms of sales. In the last fiscal year, the division saw net sales of 73.6 billion yen ($1.1 billion) against 186.2 billion yen at the consumer products division. However, operating losses at the arcade division were much less: 2.7 billion yen versus 43.0 billion yen respectively.

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