Bandai still in multimedia terminals

Bandai says its Pippin multimedia system is still in the game contrary to published reports.

Countering earlier press reports, Bandai executive vice president Shin Unoza denied the company has withdrawn from the multimedia terminal business.

Bandai, which makes the Pippin multimedia terminal, has had difficulties promoting the device.

The Pippin was jointly developed by Bandai and Apple Computer as a low-cost CD-ROM-based multimedia system.

Unoza did confirm that Bandai has halted further production of the Pippin but only until existing inventories are sold, according to an article in Nikkei Multi Media, a Japanese publication. He also stated that the Pippin will survive Bandai's merger with videogame maker Sega Enterprises.

Following the merger, Bandai will be divided into three units within the new company. Current Sega president and CEO Hayao Nakayama will head the Amusement Company arcade equipment business; Bandai president Makoto Yamashina will direct the Entertainment Company toy firm. Sega executive vice president Shoichiro Irimajiri will head up the Multimedia Company, managing the Pippin and Sega Saturn product lines.

The report follows yesterday's announcement by Bandai that they will be producing an Ethernet interface for the Pippin to allow corporate users to attach it to their intranets.