Ad-free Gizmondo shelved, launch lineup set

All US units to require Smart Adds; Gizmondo Navigator 2006 available at launch.

Earlier this month, GameSpot reported on Tiger Telematics' US launch plans for the Gizmondo handheld system, noting that even though the company had less than three weeks to go before the new October 22 launch, plans could still change. After all, the company didn't announce that it would be missing its original August 11 release date until August 5.

The latest change to the US launch isn't as worrisome as a delay, but it's still likely to agitate a few who had been looking forward to the handheld. The company had been planning to offer its system to American gamers for $399, or $229 for a model that would include automatic download and play advertisements several times a day. Tiger today confirmed that all US Gizmondo launch units would include the Smart Adds service.

The company is keeping its dual-SKU hardware lineup, however. But instead of including an ad-free Gizmondo unit in the $399 package, Tiger is including Gizmondo Navigator 2006, a satellite navigation program that allows uses the system's GPS capabilities to give users directions to any street address in the US. Gizmondo Navigator 2006 will also be sold separately, for $169, which includes coverage for one of four regions of the US: East Coast, Midwest, West Coast, and Southwest, or at $249 for coverage of the entire country.

Tiger also confirmed its full launch lineup today, spearheaded by SSX 3, FIFA Soccer 2005, Richard Burns Rally, and Sticky Balls. The rest of the launch lineup includes Trailblazer, Classic Compendium 1, Classic Compendium 2, Toy Golf, Point of Destruction, Gizmondo Motocross 2005, Interstellar Flames 2, Pocket Ping Pong 2005, Hockey Rage 2005, and the Fathammer Classics pack (which includes Super Drop Manic, Stunt Car Extreme, and Angel Fish).

Seven titles are scheduled for release in the weeks following launch, including Chicane, Conflict: Vietnam, and Carmageddon. The games will retail between $19.99 and $39.99.

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