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Sat nav suite plots course for Gizmondo

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Tiger Telematics is re-pitching its Gizmondo handheld games console as a satellite navigation system, the company revealed this week.

Based on ALK Technologies' CoPilot route-planning software, Gizmondo Navigator 2006 uses the console's integrated GPS chip to help motorists steer their way along the quickest, least congested, toll-free route to anywhere in the UK or mainland Europe.

The software will ship on SD card, with separate cards available for each geographic area.

Tiger said it plans to provide an in-car mounting kit, including a charger, to sell alongside the software, which will retail for £99 and £199, depending on whether you select either the UK pack or the continental Europe card.

A Gizmondo console bundled with the UK card will retail for £199, though that price means the user will also have Tiger's Smart Adds marketing messages beamed into their device on a regular basis.

Earlier this month, Tiger put back the Gizmondo's already-delayed US debut to October. Last month, it moved the console's "streamlined" UK development team over to Los Angeles to prepare for the US launch.

It's not clear whether Tiger will offer a US-oriented version of Gizmondo Navigator. In Europe, GPS is far less common as a bundle or optional extra in new cars - though that's changing - leading to an explosion of interest in low-cost GPS sat nav solutions, typically based on PocketPC devices, though increasingly smart phones too.

Indeed, while PDA sales are falling around the world, they are strengthening in Europe, thanks to the GPS navigation 'killer app'. ®

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