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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Sega edges back towards profit
Sonic the hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is back on Nintendo's GameCube
Sega, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, is reaping the dividends of its decision to ditch its loss-making Dreamcast games console.

Its new strategy, in which it concentrates instead on writing games for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft's hardware instead, has slashed its losses by almost two thirds.

In the year to March 2002, Sega lost 17.8bn yen ($141m; 97m), down from a 51.7bn yen loss in the year before.

It now says it will be back in the black this year, aiming for a net profit of 18bn yen.

Hardware battle

Sega was one of the early pioneers of advanced consoles, as its Megadrive took on Nintendo's Super NES console.

Both then were superseded by Sony's PlayStation.

But while Nintendo's 64 offered Sony solid competition, Sega's Dreamcast was hobbled by late delivery of the games themselves.

As its competitors - now including Microsoft for the first time - spent hundreds of millions on developing newer, more powerful machines, Sega realised that it should concentrate on its strength: game design.

Sonic boom

Now its iconic Sonic the Hedgehog character is back on the Nintendo GameCube, one of eight titles which sold a total of 1.2 million copies in 2001.

Its 13 PlayStation 2 titles racked up 3.5 million sales in all, while 13 GameBoy Advance games sold nearly 1.7 million copies.

Seven titles for the newly released Microsoft Xbox were responsible for another 660,000 games.

See also:

16 May 02 | Sci/Tech
History of gaming goes on show
06 May 02 | Reviews
GameCube: Your views
26 Apr 02 | New Media
Cut price Xbox on sale
26 Nov 01 | Business
Sony launches console price war
20 Jun 01 | New Media
Computer game rivals in European deal
22 May 01 | Business
Sega forecasts return to profit
31 Jan 01 | Business
Sega scraps the Dreamcast
23 Jan 01 | Business
Sega linked to Playstation, XBox
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