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Gametrac to offer Microsoft-based wireless gaming device

LONDON-Startup Gametrac Europe Ltd. is taking direct aim at industry giant Nokia Corp. with plans to sell a wireless video-game device very similar to Nokia’s N-Gage. And to do so Gametrac is siding with Nokia’s main rival in the space: Microsoft Corp.

Gametrac said it plans to sell its Gametrac wireless video-game device in the next few months. The advanced device runs on Microsoft’s CE.Net operating system, and features a tri-band GPRS connection, MP3 support, an integrated digital camera and GPS functions. Gametrac said it will sell MMC/SD cards with games from Fathammer and others. Gametrac first introduced its device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Gametrac’s device offers many of the same features as Nokia’s highly touted N-Gage mobile phone/video game device. Indeed, the two devices even feature the same 3D technology from Fathammer. Nokia’s N-Gage is based on the Symbian operating system, the market’s leading platform for smart phones. However, Microsoft is working to chip away at Symbian’s dominance with sales of its own wireless operating systems.

Gametrac is a subsidiary of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Tiger Telematics Inc. A publicly traded company, Tiger Telematics has a long and convoluted corporate history. According to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tiger Telematics started as a discount floor-covering store selling carpets and rugs. The company sold its flooring business and entered the telematics business through various acquisitions in 2001 and 2002. The company said it now plans to offer fleet management and tracking services in the United States and Western Europe.

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