Fewer than a third of Dreamcast owners in Europe have signed up to use the games console's free internet access, Dreamarena.
Sega's Dreamcast, the first games console with a built-in modem and a free internet access service, said today that only 200,000 of the 700,000 Dreamcast owners in Europe have registered to use the service.
However, analysts said that while take-up of the facility has been slow in Europe compared with the US, it is still too early to say that the service has failed.
"Dreamcast only launched in November last year. The number of registrations sounds reasonable and correct, and is at a similar stage to the growth in Japan," said Nick Gibson, computer and video games analyst at Durlacher Research.
"Dreamcast has done better than many people's expectations. It will have competition when PlayStation 2 is launched in the Autumn, but there are fundamental differences between the consoles."
Dreamcast users can chat, surf and send emails through the Dreamarena portal, and real-time online gaming is expected to be introduced later this year.
"A third of our customers are using the online capability," said Jean-Francois Cecillon, Sega Europe's chief executive. "This is evidence that our strategy of developing an online community through Dreamarena meets the expectations of our customers, as well as providing competition to traditional European ISPs."
However, some of Europe's larger ISPs are unlikely to be too concerned. Freeserve recently announced that it had 2.8 million customers in the UK.
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