February 24, 2000-Sega Enterprises, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan and SWATCH, A.G., Biel, Switzerland, the leading Swiss watch brand and inventor of Swatch Internet Time (measured in Swatch beats) today formally agreed to team up to
develop ideas under the key concept, "Access to Cyberspace."
Sega Enterprises is the creator of Dreamcast, the revolutionary game console which became the world's first to incorporate a high-speed modem that brings Internet communication to homes round the world, enabling e-mail, web
searches, multi-player games, TV phone, videomail and photomail via a simple, cheap Internet connection. Swatch having revolutionised the world watch market more than once became in 1998 timekeeper of cyberspace with
Swatch Internet Time. The Swatch Access, a watch that "thinks", thanks to an
integrated microchip, will once again change the habits of people in
accessing the Internet world. The two companies will combine and integrate their enormous resources in Cyberspace bringing together two technologies to create unique interactivity.
This will see the integration of Sega's properties including Internet
terminal Dreamcast services, characters and games with Swatch watches, including the Swatch beat product. The two companies are currently in the process of defining product profiles and marketing strategies in the following areas.
1. The introduction of Swatch Internet Time, "beat", the standard time unit for the Internet invented by Swatch, into Dreamcast chat, e-mail and online Internet and network games promoted by Sega;
2. The creation of a Swatch .beat watch integrating Sega's world famous corporate character, Sonic the Hedgehog;
3. The provision of revolutionary products and services offering access to Cyberspace making the consumer's Internet experience more emotional and practical. This is focused on making Sega Dreamcast compatible with the
Swatch Access technology and providing a new Internet service.
Dreamcast is a revolutionary digital entertainment machine for the new
millennium. Dreamcast's 128-bit performance is based on cutting edge technology and immerses users in an astonishingly real 3D environment, providing the fastest game play ever developed by Sega. Dreamcast is the world's first game console to provide networking capabilities, which include e-mail, photomail, videomail, TV phone, Internet connection and multi-player
gaming on TV. Currently, 30% of Dreamcast buyers worldwide, about 1 million people, have an Internet connection.
The company plans to ship a cumulative total of 6 million units worldwide by the end of March 2000 with cumulative total sales of 16 million units by the end of March 2001. Based on current trends, the number of Dreamcast Internet
users at this point is estimated to be about 5 million worldwide.
Swatch is the most recognized watch brand and is a member of the Swatch Group, the world's largest watch manufacturer. Since its establishment in 1983, Swatch has sold over 300 million watches. The total revenue in 1999 amounted to CHF 3.626 billion, an increase of almost 11% on the previous year. The Group includes famous brands such as Omega, Blancpain, Rado and Calvin Klein, Breguet, and Longines.
Sega Enterprises Chairman and CEO, Isao Okawa commented, "We are delighted that Swatch has agreed to work with Sega and in particular with Dreamcast. The co-operation with Swatch will bring the potential of Cyberspace to game
users and will enhance Sega's position as the undisputed world leader in on-line gaming technology. In the future, we will be able to offer a wider range of functions which will ensure that Dreamcast will continue to be the
world's leading games console."
Nick Hayek Jr., President of Swatch concluded, "Cyberspace has no limits-nor does the potential of our Internet activities. Swatch is keen to make a further step towards revolutionising the way people access the web and Sega seems a natural partner with which to meet this challenge."
Professor Nicholas Negroponte, Director of the MIT Media Laboratory
mentioned, "Little did we know at the onset that sponsor-to-sponsor
relations would evolve into an important part of the Media Lab. Swatch and Sega are two of the most active sponsors. It is not surprising that they should find business affinities. Both companies are driven by strong leaders. Each is interested in both youth and lifestyle. Today's young people know them equally well. The Media Lab is delighted to be the midwife
to such collaboration."
For further information please contact:
Hiroyuki Mori/Miyako Shimizu
SEGA Enterprises, Ltd.
SWATCH PR International
The Swatch Group (Japan)
Company and product names in this press release are the registered
trademarks or trademarks of each company.
MacLaurin Powerhouse PR
London W14 0HN
Direct: 0171 471 6839