Sega has slashed the price of its Dreamcast console in an attempt to bolster its market share before rivals appear, following hard on the heels of the entertainment company issuing a profit warning.
The Japanese giant will slice a third from the price of the console in Japan, taking it from Y29,800 to Y19,900, or £100, on 24 June. But the drop will not affect the UK price according to Shoichiro Irimajiri, president of Sega, which will remain nearly double at £199.
The move is an attempt to crank up Dreamcast's sales, which failed to hit the million unit mark by the March target. Irimajiri expects the vendor to sell a further two million Dreamcast consoles by 2000.
But with the looming shadows of the Nintendo and Sony launches, Sega's problems have continued. It has revealed that its flagship Dreamcast title, Shenmue, will be delayed until 28 October.
The games giant's hardships were compounded by a profit warning for the year beginning 1 April. Sega expects to report a loss of Y19.8 billion.
The company blamed the Dreamcast marketing and global launch costs for the shortfall, which marks its third loss-making year.
Nick Gibson, analyst at Durlacher, said: 'Sega has not met its commercial projections - it didn't hit the hardware target and software is under by about 20 per cent.'
He added: 'Sega is cutting the price because it must hit the market hard before its rivals arrive. But figures from Japan for one week in May showed that Sega sold 3,300 Dreamcasts against 19,000 PlayStations. The vendor must stem that flow.'
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