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Monday, September 7, 1998 Published at 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK


Games makers do battle

Lara Croft: gunning for sales again

The battle between the personal computer and the games console is hotting up as hundreds of new games are unleashed this week.

BBC Internet correspondent Chris Nuttall reports from the show
Buyers from about 60 countries are attending ECTS 98, billed as Europe's largest trade fair for the interactive entertainment industry.

In revenue terms the games business is starting to rival music and films.

As Christmas approaches games makers are going all out to win a share of a global market which is now worth an estimated $18bn a year.

The hunt is on for fresh attractions which might duplicate the success of hit characters as Lara Croft, whose new adventure, Tomb Raider III is making its eagerly-awaited debut at the show.

PCs vs consoles

The competition is not only between games, but also about what to play them on.

[ image: Console makers are cutting prices]
Console makers are cutting prices
Games for PCs are still widely regarded as being better than those for consoles.

A survey, commissioned by the computer chip company Intel to coincide with the show, suggests more than half of PC users now play games on their machines.

However, console manufacturers are dropping the prices of their hardware in a bid to win converts.

The managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK, Ray Maguire, says his company's decision to cut the price of its market-leading Playstation to less than £100 is a vital to its marketing strategy.

"There are a lot of people out there for whom the only reason they haven't got into computer games is its slightly too expensive and now we have addressed that point as well," he said.

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