Game Boy Is Still King Of The Mountain

Video-game makers are slugging it out to win the battle for America's palms. Sega of America, the No. 2 game marketer to Nintendo Co., is coming out with Game Gear, a color, handheld machine that proposes to turn up the heat against the $90 black-and-white Nintendo Game Boy portable. Sega plans to launch its $150 Game Gear on Apr. 5 with a $15 million advertising campaign and a splashy event on the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a floating museum in New York.

But competition is stiff, says Andy Eddy, executive editor of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment magazine. Atari Corp. just slashed the price of its one-year-old Lynx machine from $179 to $99, making its color portable truly competitive. And NEC Technologies Inc. has a high-end, color handheld called TurboExpress for $299, which has the advantage of using the same software cards as its full-size machine. Despite the addition of color, competitors probably won't dislodge Nintendo anytime soon, says Eddy. He says that only 1 million to 2 million units of each color system will be sold. More than 4 million Nintendo Game Boys have been sold since July, 1989.

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