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Gizmondo announces US launch details

Price point, launch titles and sat-nav software revealed.

With just a few days remaining until the Gizmondo launches in North America, Tiger Telematics has announced the price point and full software line-up for its new handheld.

The standalone Gizmondo unit will hit US stores this Saturday priced at USD 229. A "complete system bundle", which includes software, will be available for USD 399.

All US Gizmondos will be Smart Adds-enabled, which means that video advertisements will be pushed to users of the console over the mobile network, and will feature a new long life battery that allows for up to six hours of playing time. The standalone battery will go on sale in Europe shortly.

Tiger Telematics will launch sat-nav programme Gizmondo Navigator 2006 on the same day as the handheld. Powered by CoPilot and supplied on SD card, it's designed to let users navigate their way to a specific street, zip code, point of interest or even house number via 3D or 2D maps and step-by-step voice instructions.

Gizmondo Navigator 2006 will be available for four separate regions - East Coast, Mid-West, West Coast and South West - priced USD 169. A USA-wide version will cost USD 249.

A total of 14 games will be available for the Gizmondo from day one - topping the bill are snowboarding game SSX 3 and FIFA Soccer, both from Electronic Arts, followed by SCI's Richard Burns Rally and arcade puzzler Sticky Balls from Gizmondo Studios.

Other launch day titles include Trailblazer, an updated version of the retro classic, Toy Golf, Gizmondo Motocross, Hockey Rage, Pocket Ping Pong, Point of Destruction and two Classic Compendiums. The Fathammer Classics pack, comprised of puzzle game Super Drop Mania, racer Stunt Car Extreme and top-down shooter Angel Fish, will also be available at launch.

It's been confirmed that a further seven "big hitters" will be released over the coming weeks, including Chicane, Hit and Myth, Conflict: Vietnam and Carmageddon. Third person action adventure Colors, billed as "The world's first ever GPS-enabled handheld game," is also slated to launch before Christmas. All games are supplied on SD card, and prices range from USD 19.99 to USD 39.99.

Tiger Telematics will doubtless be hoping that the Gizmondo proves to be a hit with American consumers this Christmas - but it seeing off rival handhelds will be no easy task. Sony recently announced that a new PSP bundle containing a 1GB Memory Stick will be available in November, priced USD 229, and pet sim Nintendogs continues to boost sales of the Nintendo DS.

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