Microsoft's X-Box to Enter Home Console Fray

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Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, said Friday it would introduce a home video game player in fall 2001 called the X-Box.


The much-rumored X-Box will be a simplified version of a personal computer with a powerful hard drive, graphics driver and an Internet connection.


It is expected to compete with Sony Corp.'s Playstation2, Nintendo64 and Sega's Dreamcast in the video game market. While details about the X-Box were unavailable it will likely be more than just a video game console.


Sony's upgraded Playstation, which was introduced in Japan last week, plays DVD movies and the company is forging deals with music companies and Hollywood studios to build new Internet services and Interactive entertainment for the machine.


Sega last month struck a deal with Swatch to develop a wristwatch that can download information off its Dreamcast player for later use, such as the purchase of movie tickets and other products.


Though Microsoft has never built a computer for sale, several Microsoft engineers began tinkering with the X-box in their spare time last year. They began working on the project full time this month after getting the go-ahead from Microsoft.

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