CES charts H’w’d-software plans

The Consumer Electronics Show, which began Thursday and runs through Sunday in Chicago, is proving to be a good place to see where Hollywood is intersecting with computer hardware.

Walt Disney Co. is the latest studio to put its characters on the computer screen. In a deal with Berkeley Systems, a leader in so-called computer screen savers, puppies from “101 Dalmatians” are trotting across PC screens when the monitor isn’t in use. Priced at $ 59.95, the 11 screen savers draw upon “The Little Mermaid” and other feature films.

Sony Electronic Publishing took the wraps off early versions of two new CD-ROM titles from its current film slate. Videogame versions of “Cliffhanger” and “Last Action Hero” for the Sega CD player both use clips and scores from the movies.

But where the Stallone vehicle is a typical kids game with computer animation , the Schwarzenegger title uses a stand-in actor shot against a blue screen for a more realistic feeling.

Software designer Psygnosis, which was just bought by Sony, did much of the programming for “Last Action Hero,” while Malibu Interactive crafted “Cliffhanger.”

LucasArts Entertainment and Steven Spielberg are developing “The Dig,” an interactive computer game in which a space shuttle is kidnapped by an alien force. This is the first time Spielberg has ventured into game design. He has outlined the story and characters’ dynamics.

Lightstorm games

Videogame maker Acclaim Entertainment Inc. has inked an exclusive option to publish software games derived from Jim Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. The deal will start with multi-format game versions of “True Lies,” an upcoming Schwarzenegger movie, including a CD-ROM title for the Sega CD player.

Acclaim, which is based in Oyster Bay, N.Y., is already familiar with Lightstorm’s product, having licensed “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” from Carolco Pictures.

According to the companies, they’ll work together from the film’s pre-production and storyboard stages, and game developers will have access to the sets during production.

On the heels of the news that Paramount is putting its movies on Philips’ CD-I player (Daily Variety, June 3) comes CapCities/ABC Video Prods. Inc.’s agreement to develop titles for the player. CapCities/ABC’s library of films, movies of the week, documentaries and series are fair game for material.

StarSight Telecast received a nod of approval from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. StarSight, which makes an on-screen electronic menu for navigating through hundreds of cable channels, will see its software and computer chips in top-of-the-line premium Mitsubishi TVs and VCRs. StarSight’s backers include Viacom Intl. and the Tribune Co.

Atari’s Jaguar

Yet another multimedia player has arrived. Atari Corp. unveiled a new interactive entertainment system called the Atari Jaguar. The company is touting an Atari-designed proprietary, high-speed computer-chip RISC processor, and will include a slot to plug in a CD-ROM player. Jaguar will retail for about $ 200 and will be ready in 1994.

3DO Co., the most advanced multimedia player expected to hit the market for Christmas, boasts that 302 software companies have signed license agreements to develop software titles. The company, which counts Universal’s parent, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., as an investor, showed off Matsushita’s Panasonic version of the REAL 3DO Interactive Player.