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Tiny console takes on the big guns

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SPARK

YOUR SAY

ON CNNI TV

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Entrepreneur Carl Freer was sick of carrying around several different electronic devices, so he decided to create one that combined all the features in one.

The self-confessed gaming junkie created Gizmondo, the console that also acts as a text messaging device, portable music and DVD player and a camera.

"I'm a big game fan and I felt I was missing a decent console that could play quality bracket games," Freer told CNN.

The Gizmondo also has a built-in navigation Global Positioning System (GPS), which means it can tell where you are and help you find your destination or a particular service.

The GPS can also be used in games to make them more interactive with real-life surroundings.

Freer said the system was similar to an in-car navigation device.

Launched in the UK in March 2005, the device is soon to be available in the U.S.

Freer admits his small company taking on gaming giants like Sony and Nintendo is a David and Goliath situation, but he believes there is real potential for the product to take off.

Gizmondo targets 15-35 year olds and Freer describes it as a "lifestyle product."

"We think the market is big enough. There is such a consumer demand today, especially in the handheld market, that there is room for another player -- albeit a small one -- but there is room for more choice," Freer said.

"We feel that it encompasses all of the functionalities that our demographic use during the day."

High-quality, multi-level games can be installed through a 256mb SD memory card or can be downloaded remotely via a mobile phone network.

"You simply plug in and play," Freer said. "We have tried to create Gizmondo in such a way that all the functionalities work in a way. We didn't want to compromise on any of these applications, so we feel that they would stand as one as different settings strong enough just to be a products selling just for that feature."

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