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Tapwave Inc. unveils "Zodiac" entertainment system
by Jolex Del Pilar
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Another company throws its hat into the growing portables market.
Tapwave announced that the official name of its mobile entertainment console is Zodiac. The company joins Nintendo, Nokia, and Sony as companies who are seriously pursuing the handhelds market.
Retailing for $299, Zodiac runs on a Tapwave-enhanced version of the Palm OS 5.2.6 operating system.
The Zodiac features an analog controller (joystick) found on a handheld device, as well as MP3 functionality. Zodiac users can look forward to watching videos (AVI, MPEG 1, MPEG4, QuickTime, etc…), viewing photos, and managing their life using one product wrapped up in a light, ergo-centric package. The product also includes the latest ATI Imageon graphic accelerator, Bluetooth for multiplayer gaming and wireless functionality, stereo speakers, and dual expansion slots that provide support for SD Cards, multimedia cards, and SDIO peripherals. The Zodiac will be available for pre-orders starting mid September, 2003, at http://www.tapwave.com and will ship in October, 2003.
--- Jolex Del Pilar
“The name Zodiac is a perfect fit with the sleek, sophisticated design of our product,” said Peng Lim, co-founder and CEO of Tapwave. “With the incredible response we’ve had since our coming out in May from both the game and handheld computing industries and from developers, we are looking forward to launching Zodiac in the upcoming months.”
In conjunction with the Tapwave hardware offerings, the company will both publish games and continue to aggressively support independent game development specifically for the Tapwave platform. By keeping the platform open, building a strong developer support program, and providing a distribution channel, Tapwave will leverage the thousands of developers focused on mobile gaming and build a strong win-win business opportunity. Since announcing the company in May 2003, approximately 400 game developers have signed up for the Tapwave development program and requested the Software Development Kit (SDK).
At launch, Zodiac will not only run many new game titles specifically designed for the product, but also the thousands of compatible Palm OS applications, including more than 1000 games. More information about games available at product launch will be announced in upcoming weeks.
More details about Zodiac are releasing weekly at www.godoplay.com , where you can sign up to receive the latest news.