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Gizmondo UK debut set for 29 October

Handheld console to ship early November

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UK-designed handheld games console Gizmondo will be formally launched on 29 October, the maker's parent company, Tiger Telematics, announced today.

Sources close to the company have, in the past, told us that once the console is launched it will ship "within a week or so", indicating that consumers will be able to get their mitts on the machine in the first week of November.

Gizmondo has also signed up digital music distributor OD2/Loudeye to supply the company with downloadable Windows Media-encoded songs to sell on its web site, said sources told us.

The GPS, GSM/GPRS-enabled handheld will be manufactured by Flextronics. It will ship in the UK first, with US, European and Australasian roll-outs taking place through 2005.

Like Tapwave's Zodiac handheld console, which will also ship in the UK in the run up to Christmas, Gizmondo is being pitched a well-heeled gamers looking not only for on-the-move gaming but mobile multimedia facilities too - music and video, along with photos. That sets the machines not only against today's games machines, but attempts to position them against pricier but more capacious hard drive-based products like Apple's iPod and Creative's Zen PMC, which uses Microsoft Portable Media Center platform.

Both the Zodiac and Gizmondo use Fathammer's X-Forge 2 games engine in addition to their own OS-specific APIs. ®

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