As pre-orders for Nokia's N-Gage game deck open in the USA, the mobile phone giant has announced plans to bring the system on tour around 50 cities in Europe, kicking off on August 9.
The tour will give European gamers in 16 different countries a chance to try out the N-Gage ahead of its launch on October 7, and will also feature a gaming tournament - the N-Gage Challenge - which pits gamers across the continent against one another.
The first location for the tour is Helsinki on August 9, with the European finals of the tournament being held in Paris on October 4. A full schedule for the tour will be available on the N-Gage website from August 6.
Pre-orders for the game deck have already opened at major retailers GameStop and EB Games in the USA, with the console package retailing at $299 - a price which includes the console, charger, battery, stereo headset and USB cable.
There's still no sign of the subsidised N-Gage packages which some commentators expect mobile phone networks to offer at launch, bringing the price of the console down to more sane levels when compared with other gaming devices. Nokia may yet have an uphill struggle to persuade the telcos - badly stung by subsidising handsets in the past - that N-Gage will generate sufficient network revenues to justify any major subsidy.