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Multi-Player Middleware (NGC/PS2)

by Thomas on Dec. 3, 2002 @ 5:28 p.m. PST

With the online console gaming market expected to reach 114 million players in the next four years, the world's pioneer in online console game technology, Sega.com Inc., announced today that they have signed middleware agreements with two of the top console manufacturers.

Game developers now have access to Sega.com's expertise, technologies, and services that will allow them to set up network gaming environments for gameplay on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Nintendo GameCubeTM. Sega.com helps developers successfully take their games online across multiple platforms with SEGA Network Application Package (SNAP), a suite of technologies and services designed to provide a multi-platform, end-to-end, network multiplay solution.

"Having shipped more than 17 networked console games to date, SEGA is the undisputed pioneer in online console gaming, and Sega.com helped make it possible by creating and supporting the technology backbone," said Mr. Ryoichi Shiratsuchi, CEO of Sega.com and general manager, Network Business Division, SEGA Corporation. "From building the first high-speed online console gaming network to offering Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 developers a solution for implementing a network gaming environment with SNAP, Sega.com is truly committed to the future of the video game industry - online gaming."

SNAP provides game developers and publishers with a comprehensive suite of technologies and services that allows them to easily incorporate networked gameplay into their titles, saving valuable development time and costs. Featuring state-of-the-art technology, SNAP includes community building tools and a custom network transport optimized for gameplay, allowing for quick and flexible communication. SNAP also provides secure user authentication that promotes community trust by preventing fraud, and facilitates revenue by connecting to billing systems. Reporting technologies enable ladders, tournaments, rankings, and other stats-based activities that are crucial to cultivating a game's online community.

"Keeping in line with our open approach to the market, we welcome Sega.com's decision to offer technology and network services for online gaming," said Andrew House, executive vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "As one of the core benefits of the PlayStation 2 online model is to allow companies to take advantage of existing knowledge, investment and efficiencies, Sega.com will be able to help accelerate online game development with the release of its middleware solution, SNAP."

In addition to SNAP's core technologies, game developers and publishers can benefit from an array of optional services, providing a cost-effective, full-service network solution. SNAP Services are designed to assist with the operation, maintenance, and development of a network game environment, including server hosting, billing, consulting, and quality assurance testing. With SNAP Hosting, game developers/publishers can take advantage of more than 100 scalable servers already installed across the U.S. to offer their gamers a seamless online gaming experience.

"Offering a flexible and reliable network solution, SNAP allows our developers to focus on creating great games without worrying about the challenges of implementing and maintaining a network gaming environment," said Jim Merrick, director, Network Marketing, Nintendo of America Inc.

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