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Gametrac morphs into, er, Gizmondo

Legal pressures behind renaming

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Gametrac Europe has renamed both itself and its eponymous handheld games console in preparation for the device's launch this summer.

When it ships, the kiddie-oriented console-cum-phone-cum-multimedia device will be branded as the Gizmondo.

According to the company, the Gametrac name was just "a project name for out strategic partners", but its press statement reveals the real reason for the change: "pending legal issues concerning the use of the Gametrac name". The company did not say who had raised those 'issues'.

To avoid such legal entanglements, the new name was given an "early announcement" ahead of the console's showing at E3 in May.

Details of the Gametrac console and the technology partners behind it were exclusively revealed by The Register last December.

Gametrac Europe's US parent company, Tiger Telematics, chose 'Gizmondo' to better indicate the device's broader applications than playing games. For example, an integrated GPS receiver has long been part of the handheld's specification, allowing parents to keep track of their offsprings' whereabouts.

Oh, and Tiger wants to be more clearly associated with the device than it was before. So the console will now be branded 'Gizmondo by Tiger Telematics'. We're not sure how much resonance that will have in the consumer marketplace, but there you go.

The Gizmondo is based around a 2.8in 320 x 240 LCD display and a 400MHz ARM-based CPU - almost certainly an Intel XScale. The machine runs Windows CE, on top of which sits an operating environment developed by Intrinsyc Software, which also wrote the telephony and comms stacks. UK-based Synergenix is provifing its Mophun "software-based gaming console for mobile devices".

Initially pitched at younger children, Tiger appears now to be taking the unit to an older, teenage audience, if its redesigned website is anything to go by. The Gizmondo is scheduled for a summer UK release with a worldwide launch in the Autumn. ®

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