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Gizmondo launches £129 Smart Adds console pack

Tiger Telematics has announced its intention to knock £100 off the price of its recently launched Gizmondo console, by offering a Smart Adds enabled version which will deliver targeted advertising to its users.

Tiger Telematics has announced its intention to knock £100 off the price of its recently launched Gizmondo console, by offering a Smart Adds enabled version which will deliver targeted advertising to its users.

The innovative new bundle will effectively see the cost of the console being subsidised by delivering advertising directly to the handset, with users expected to view no more than three short advertisements a day.

The advertising will be directly targeted at the user according to their personal preferences, and Gizmondo is promising that it will come with a range of benefits as well as simply being marketing material - with users likely to receive a range of money-off offers, free music and movie downloads and other exclusive content and promotions.

Advertising will consist of full-quality videos sent across the mobile network to the handsets, and can feature a range of extra features - such as the ability to pinpoint your nearest cinema using the Gizmondo's built-in satellite positioning functionality after watching a movie trailer, for example.

The advertisements will also not be intrusive, as they won't pop up while the user is actually engaged in an activity on the device - only appearing when the main Home menu is accessed.

Gizmondo plans to work closely with MTV on the service, as it believes that its users share a demographic with MTV viewers, and among the advertisers confirmed for the service so far are Universal Music, Smart Cars, Warners Music, EMI, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.

As well as simply subsidising the price of the console - and, crucially, bringing it into the range where the powerful device could possibly compete with the Nintendo DS or as-yet unlaunched Sony PSP on price - Gizmondo believes that the advertising itself is appealing to some people.

"The demographic we're targeting with Gizmondo are the sort of people who actually enjoy good advertising," Smart Adds boss Peter Lilley told GamesIndustry.biz today. "We won't be sending them ads for loo cleaner - the sort of ads we're sending are either entertaining or useful. This isn't spurious, spammy stuff at all - the only ads we will be showing will be ones for relevant products, which are creatively good."

The company has also assured users that the transmission cost of the videos will be picked up by the advertisers, not by the consumer, and that as a result ads will not be sent to handsets when they're abroad, to avoid overseas tariffs. Switched off devices will also not accumulate a backlog of ads, with the three per day limit being strictly observed.

The Smart Adds Gizmondo will retail in two packs - the standard version, which retails at £129 and features the console, battery, charger, headphones, USB lead and SIM card with £5 of credit, and a £199 Value Pack, which contains the above plus better headphones, a 128Mb SD card containing game, film and music demos, a free copy of launch title Trailblazer and a voucher for forthcoming GPS-enabled game Colors.

Both new versions of the console will launch on April 22nd, with the full roll out of Smart Adds on the device planned for the 2nd of May. Gizmondo has also confirmed that Smart Adds packages will be made available when the device launches in overseas markets.

Featuring a powerful ARM processor and NVIDIA graphics chip, along with movie and music playback capabilities, a camera, and SMS and MMS capabilities, the Gizmondo is the most powerful and fully-featured handheld console on the market in the UK at the moment - but it faces an uphill struggle against the established dominance of Nintendo, whose new DS has performed strongly at retail, and the forthcoming PlayStation Portable.

The new price point, however, should give the system a major boost. "At £129 it's ground breaking," Lilley claims. "Frankly, at £229 it's fantastic value, but at £129 it's simply stunning."

Author
Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.