E3 NEWS: Tiger Telematics Sets Gizmondo Street Date

Gizmondo Europe Ltd., a subsidiary of Jacksonville, Florida-based Tiger Telematics Inc., has announced an August 11 North American street date for its new multi-entertainment handheld, Gizmondo. The device will be competing for a piece of the market dominated by Sony’s PSP and Nintendo’s DS and Game Boy Advance.

Tiger Telematics went all-out with its E3 launch of Gizmondo, taking up 4,500 square feet of space on the showroom floor next to Microsoft’s booth. There, the company unveiled its game lineup and announced major licensing and co-publishing deals with Ubisoft and EA.

The pocket-sized Gizmondo allows users to play games, listen to music, watch movies, send and receive messaging and take digital photos. It also features an onboard GPS system, which will enhance gameplay in upcoming titles. New Gizmondo technologies announced at the expo include the Gyroscopic Camera and something called Augmented Reality.

The Gyroscopic Camera technology uses movement detected through the digital camera at the rear of the device as a direct analogue control input for games. Tiger Telematics says this feature has enormous potential within all genres of games, from first-person shooters to flight simulations, and is being optimixed for a number of exclusive titles by in-house developer Gizmondo Studios.

Augmented Reality also uses the digital camera. By viewing specially designed graphics and symbols through the camera mode, a three-dimensional, animated character or object can be introduced to the ‘real world’ environment. Both of these new technologies will be featured in a new GPS-enabled adventure game titled Agaju.

For more information on Gizmondo, go to www.gizmondo.com. You can also read about the device and other leading handheld machines in the June issue of Animation Magazine, available by subscription and at Barnes and Noble locations.