Dreamcast, the Microsoft-Sega device which uses an embedded version of Windows CE as its operating system, will ship in Japan next month.
Although Sega does not intend to sell the Dreamcast games machine elsewhere until late next year, it is the first time CE is embedded in a device. The platform runs on a 200MHz Hitachi SH CPU.
Microsoft has major plans for embedded CE and NT, which could eventually wind up being the same thing.
The other major aspect of Dreamcast is that it is a combined games player and WebTV set top box. It can be used to play games over modems, blurring the boundaries between games consoles, interactive TV and the Web.
As yet, take up of WebTV class devices has been slow or, in the case of some of them, non existent, because it has been difficult to explain to customers what they are for. So getting interactive TV sales pulled through from the games console market might turn out to be a useful secret weapon for WebTV and Microsoft.
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