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Pentium II slated for arcades

Intel has its processors inside most of the world's PCs; now it wants them inside coin-operated video games as well.

Intel (INTC) has its processors inside most of the world's PCs. Now, it wants them inside coin-operated video games as well.

Intel released a hardware reference design today that marks the beginning of a push to provide next-generation Pentium II processors and associated PC hardware to the coin-operated video game industry.

The company, which made the announcement at the Computer Game Developers Conference in Santa Clara, California, says that by using the reference design, software developers will be able to write arcade games that will eventually make their way into consumer PC systems, reducing time and development costs.

If hardware and software companies adopt the Intel-based video game platform in large numbers, it would also encourage the development of new software for the consumer PC platform, which in turn would spur the sales of computers.

"A common PC infrastructure will lower our customers' cost of business by providing reusable hardware for many different games," said Peter Betti, chairman of H. Betti Industries, a video game distributor. The company plans to introduce systems using Intel hardware by the end of the year, Betti said in a prepared statement.

Hardware to be used in video games includes the Pentium II processor with 512KB cache and Accelerated Graphics Port technology. The Pentium II is the next-generation Pentium Pro processor and will be introduced on May 7 in 233-, 266-, and 300-MHz versions. AGP is Intel's next-generation high-performance 3D graphics technology and is not expected to be introduced until sometime this fall.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.