Gizmondo puts £18m into European debut

Gizmondo is assembling a 26m euro (£17.7m) advertising war chest to back its eponymous handheld gaming device.

The subsidiary of US mobile technology firm Tiger Telematics plans to take on gaming giants Sony and Nintendo with a heavyweight promotional campaign created by Ogilvy in Stockholm, which will break next month and run until early 2005.

Gizmondo will cost £229 and will enable users to play games, listen to music, watch films, send text messages and take pictures. It will be launched in the UK, before rolling out globally.

The device will also show TV-quality ads, which can be personalised by advertisers according to the user's location and profile.

Peter Lilley, head of Smart Adds at Gizmondo, said that the device had already attracted the interest of more than 50 advertisers and that it would be carrying out location-based advertising trials over the next few months with some of them.

Gizmondo will be sold in a number of major UK retailers, including John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse and Game. The company is also in talks with several UK mobile operators about establishing its own mobile phone network.

The device was originally to be branded Gametrac, but a trademark wrangle in the US forced the manufacturer to change its name earlier this year.

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