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Excite@Home, Sega in gaming partnership

In an announcement to be made tomorrow, Excite will help produce the Dreamcast Network, a gaming portal developed in conjunction with Sega's hugely popular console.

Excite@Home and Sega of America plan to announce a partnership tomorrow blending the portal company's Web content with Sega's interactive gaming site.

Excite will help produce Sega's Dreamcast Network, an Internet gaming portal developed in conjunction with Sega's hugely popular Dreamcast console, according to the two companies.

Dreamcast users will find Excite-produced content and personalization features, such as Excite Mail and stock quotes. Eventually, the companies said, Excite will produce an interface for a Dreamcast TV-based Web browser.

Besides being a video game player, Dreamcast lets users access the Internet through a built-in 56-kbps modem; preferred ISP service is delivered via AT&T WorldNet. Sega already has sold over 1 million Dreamcast consoles in North America since it launched in September.

According to Excite, the partnership is the latest in the Redwood City, Calif.'s company's attempts to distribute its service through non-PC devices, and follows a deal to provide content for AT&T's PocketNet wireless Internet service.

"This deal again reinforces our leadership in providing a consistent user experience over multiple devices and our ability to re-format our content for different media," Mark Stevens, executive vice president of corporate and business development at Excite@Home, Excite's parent company, said in a statement.

Excite also joins some of its competitors in signing deals to bring online video games to their user bases. Internet giant America Online gave Electronic Arts exclusive control over gaming on all AOL-owned services for $81 million, while rival Lycos recently acquired for $203 million in stock.