Gizmondo slashed in price
It's now 100 quid cheaper to those who don't mind viewing the odd advert.
Tiger Telematics is knocking £100 of the price of the recently launched Gizmondo by offering a new version that will deliver targeted adverts.
The "Smart Adds", as they're known, will effectively subsidise the cost of the console. Gizmondo owners will be expected to view no more than three ads per day, and they'll be aimed directly at the user according to their personal preferences.
The Smart Adds consist of full-quality videos, sent across the mobile network, which can also make use of the Gizmondo's other functions - so once you've watched a movie trailer, for example, you can use the handheld's built-in satellite positioning functionality to find your nearest cinema.
We're also promised money-off vouchers, free music and movie downloads and other exclusive promotions.
Tiger says the adverts won't be intrusive, as they won't pop up while you're playing a game, say, or looking at some porn - they'll only appear when the main Home menu is accessed.
The company plans to work closely with MTV on the service, and among the advertisers confirmed so far are Universal Music, Smart Cars, Warners Music, EMI, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.
Tiger believes that the advertising could even actively appeal to some people, as Smart Adds boss Peter Lilley told our sister site, GamesIndustry.biz.
"The demographic we're targeting with Gizmondo are the sort of people who actually enjoy good advertising," he said.
"We won't be sending them ads for loo cleaner - the sort of ads we're sending are either entertaining or useful. This isn't spurious, spammy stuff at all - the only ads we will be showing will be ones for relevant products, which are creatively good."
The company was also quick to point out that the cost of transmitting the videos will be picked up by the advertisers, not the console owner, and that as a result ads will not be sent to handsets when they're abroad to avoid overseas tariffs.
In addition, users won't end up with a backlog of ads if their machines are switched off, since the three-a-day limit will be strictly adhered to.
Tiger is offering a choice of two Smart Adds Gizmondo bundles. The standard version features the console, battery, charger, headphones, USB lead and SIM card with £5 of credit, and retails for £129.
The Value Pack (wonder how they came up with the name?) is priced at £199 and includes all of the above, only with better headphones, plus a 128MB SD card containing game, film and music demos, a free copy of launch title Trailblazer and a voucher for forthcoming GPS gangbanger Colors.
Both bundles will hit the shops on April 22 and the full Smart Adds roll-out is slated for May 2. Tiger says Smart Adds packages will also be available when the console launches in overseas markets.
There's still some tough competition out there in the shape of the Nintendo DS and, eventually, the PSP, but the new price point should give the Gizmondo a boost.
"At £129 it's ground breaking," Lilley said. "Frankly, at £229 it's fantastic value, but at £129 it's simply stunning."