A significant proportion of our work this quarter has been with Gizmondo, and we now have two products out in the market for this platform. These are the West pack "Classic Compendium", with Chess, Checkers, Reversi, Four-in-a-line and Backgammon; and the East pack "Classic Compendium 2", with Shogi, Chinese Chess, Chinese Checkers, TaiPei and Go-moku. The 2 compilations combine to provide a solid base of casual games for this mobile device.
The Gizmondo has had some bumpy recent press coverage, but now demand is outstripping supply as it makes strong headway in Europe. This unit, along with the newer proposed Gizmondo 2 offers a market that is rather wider than just a games console. It is closer to the ideal "all-facilities-in-one-unit" than any other competing unit. A strong feature of this is GPS, which already has an established market for the very useful navigation facility. Being thoroughly mobile, the unit does not have to remain in the car, but can be taken on foot while finding your way. AI Factory are currently in discussion with Gizmondo for products in the new, exciting and untapped genre of GPS games which offers great potential for new and original gameplay, previously un-exploited. This is a highly creative area.
A milestone event in the calendar is the Game Developer Conference Europe (GDCE), held in London. This was a good chance to network with other players in the industry and to measure what others are doing. One point recognised here was the increasing influence of Japan and South Korea in the area of gaming, an area of the world where we are already involved. AI Factory were also in discussion with the South Korean company Buruxo at GDCE, over the development of a new major on-line game B-Soccer, scheduled for Spring 2006.
Although a gaming event, the showcase stand at GDCE was for educational software. An important aspect of education is motivation, and so there is significant potential for cross-over between games and education. A key player in this is GridClub, who are well-established with their very popular on-line GridClub web-site. This is visited by as many as one million children per month and provides learning in an agreeable and entertaining format, allowing ideas to be explored in a highly interactive format. it is clear that such learning will in the future become a significant part of all children's education, as it offers both teaching and monitoring of progress. This relieves some of the burden of administration from the educational process and also provides learning that is available on-demand, rather than just in fixed time-tabled lessons. AI Factory is currently in discussion with GridClub to provide new components to this BAFTA-winning online learning site. Our speciality in AI offers the scope for new types of on-line learning.
Of course AI Factory is also pursuing many other threads. These include a stand-alone dedicated gaming device, on-line wargames and mobile games. We are also currently engaged in a major contract which must at present remain under-wraps, until it is launched next year.