Tiger Telematics will release its second-generation, widescreen Gizmondo handheld console in Q2 2006.
Tiger will sell the new model alongside the current version, which launched in the UK in March this year and which makes its debut in the US in October.
The widescreen model comes in response to the 4.3in LCD built into Sony's PlayStation Portable. Today's Gizmondos have a 2.8in screen. The new model sports a 4in, 480 x 272 job and, like the PSP, will support Wi-Fi wireless networking, courtesy of an integrated 802.11g adaptor.
The new console will feature Bluetooth 2.0 for faster wireless connections than the current model is capable of. The clock speed will run "above 500MHz", the company said, and the it is "significantly escalating" the console's memory, it claimed without providing numbers. The new unit will be based on Windows CE 5.0 - the console is currently equipped with CE 4.2.
The second-generation unit will retain the original's GSM/GPRS connectivity, but add voice support with an integrated speakerphone and voice control. The unit will get a TV-out port, too.
The risk here is that US buyers will sit back and wait for the better console, particularly given the fact that more games will be available by the time it ships than are on sale now. However, in a bid to persuade potential purchasers to buy in October, Tiger promised to reveal details of an "upgrade path" before the second-generation console ships.
The widescreen machine's release date remains uncertain, however - Q2 2006 is simply a projected timeframe, Tiger said. However, it pledged to demo the device at next January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. ®