First released in the UK on 19th March 2005 (8 days after Nintendo DS\'s UK release) and costing £229 (or £129 for the "Smart Ads" pack in which you are sent ads via GPRS (up to 3 per day) to subsidise the cost of the system), the Gizmondo is a handheld media centre designed by Tiger Telematics and intended for all kinds of entertainment purposes including playing music and videos, browsing the internet, sending and receiving messages, making phonecalls, taking photos, and, of course, playing games.
The UK release coincided with the company\'s Gizmondo retail store opening in Regent Street, London. The system came bundled with a "contract-free SIM card" (pay as you go), and an SD card containing games demos, movie clips and music samples.
The Gizmondo is somewhat similar to the Nokia N-Gage in that it can be used as a phone among other things including playing games, however, the Gizmondo is far more powerful and has many extra features. The GPS tracking and mapping ability adds some interesting features to games, like being able to use a real map as a playing field. The system comes with Windows Media Player 9 for playing multimedia files and built-in JPEG camera.
While Gizmondo is unlikely to make a huge impact on the handheld gaming world, currently dominated by Nintendo and Sony, the company hopes to have moderate success like that of the Nokia N-Gage and Tapwave Zodiac.
Platform: Tiger Telematics Gizmondo.