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Microsoft Gets Into Gaming Ring

Microsoft announced on Friday, March 10, 2000, that it will create its own video-game unit entitled X-Box. The high-end console will be in direct competition with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Sega's Dreamcast. "We want X-Box to be the platform of choice for the best and most creative game developers in the world," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gate at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose. Intended to be a hybrid of the personal computer and traditional gaming console, the new system is expected to hit stores sometime in 2001. The X-Box will be powered by a 600-megahertz Intel processor and graphics chip created by nVidia Corp. that can produce 3D images. The system will also contain an 8-gigabyte hard drive and a DVD player. Each X-Box will have an Ethernet port that can be used to connect to broad band Internet lines for on-line multiplayer games. Thus far, Electronic Arts, Konami, Acclaim and Edios Interactive have said they are willing to develop content for the new platform. No retail price has been announced, however the Dreamcast currently sells for US$199 and the PlayStation 2 has an expected retail price of $370 once it hits the U.S.

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