After a number of false starts, officials from Gizmondo Europe, a subsidiary of Florida based Tiger Telematics, are now claiming that the new official street date for the Gizmondo portable console is March 19th in the UK.
The long-planned Gizmondo shop will open on the same day on London’s busy Regent Street. Consoles will also go on sale at selected, but as yet unspecified, retail partners on the same day. The shop, located opposite the famous Hamley’s toy store, will play host to a number of launch and other marketing events.
The console will go on sale for the princely sum of £229 ($440), which will include the console, a standard 1100mAh battery and mains charger, contract-free SIM card, an SD card containing music, game and movie demos, in-the-ear headphones, driver software and a 1.75m USB cable. Games will be priced at three levels: £9.99 ($19), £19.99 ($38), and £29.99 ($58).
Gizmondo Europe MD Carl Freer had suggested that by December of 2005 the console would eventually be retailing for under $100
, which, although still possible, has not yet been reflected in this lower launch price.
There are however no details of either the expected stock levels for launch, or the launch line-up of games. According to Carl Freer though, "Gizmondo is the British challenger in a market that will witness a spectacular boom this year. We've been able to introduce exciting new features like GPS into gaming, and with such a remarkable list of features, the Gizmondo is the most powerful, feature-laden piece of multi-entertainment hardware available."
The Gizmondo is powered by Microsoft Windows, with a 2.8-inch TFT color screen with a Samsung ARM9 400Mhz processor and incorporates the GoForce 3D 4500 NVIDIA graphics accelerator. In addition to gaming, it also provides multimedia messaging, an MP3 music player, Mpeg4 movie playing capability, a digital camera and a GPRS network link to allow wide-area network gaming. Additionally, it contains a GPS chip for location-based services, is equipped with Bluetooth for use in multi-player gaming, and accepts SD and MMC card accessories.
The console was originally scheduled for launch
on October 29th, 2004 but was delayed, at least according to Gizmondo Europe, due to stock problems. The console is now due to launch, rather unwisely, some might say, just a week after the Nintendo DS.
Although no specific plans have been revealed, the company is currently suggesting a launch in North American and Continental Europe markets from spring 2005.