Gizmondo, a new portable handheld game device which also plays music and videos is has made its sales debut in UK. The gizmo is taking on well established giants like Sony and Nintendo, which have many billions to burn in advertising and promotions. What are chances of this product, realistically speaking? Instinct says they will face ignominious defeat in the market, much like Nokia’s N-Gage device. The timing of Gizmondo’s release is particularly bad – PSP, the new portable gaming device from Sony, is about to hit the market in the US. That Sony is delaying PSP launch in Europe is going to only help Gizmondo, because of all the buzz around PSP.
Gizmondo it has some things going for it – it uses standard off the shelf components, and is based on Microsoft’s CE.net OS. It uses secure digital cards instead of proprietary storage technologies being pushed by Sony. In UK it is going to be tapping into Vodafone’s mobile network. In other words, it has all the right components that can make it a hit with early adopters who will find the extensibility of this product more attractive. If it helps generate more dollars for Vodafone, expect other carriers to jump on board. Then there are games – Microsoft is porting Age of Empires and Halo over to Gizmondo. Others are making a few games, but that’s about it for now. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is Microsoft’s stealth wireless/handheld gaming play, and if it works even as a beta test, you can expect the software giant to make a few moves.