Sunday, August 28, 2005

Gizmondo: Many Features, Any Talents?

There has been plenty of buzz surrounding the impending launch of the Gizmondo. Some good and some not so good. The New York Times reports the hand-held gaming device sounds "more like a digital Swiss Army knife. It can play video games, movies and music files; take photos; wirelessly send and receive text and e-mail messages; display Web pages; and function as a navigation and tracking unit. A built-in gyroscope can alter the viewing angle of a game as the player turns the device around."

The article takes a look at the company behind Gizmondo, Tiger Telematics, the product's features, the competitive landscape, and the well-documented delays that have slowed the product to market. Already selling in the U.K, Gizmondo is projected to hit store shelves in the U.S. at the end of October.

Having enough content at launch will be an issue as well as the company's advertising-driven approach to beaming ads to the device based on location.

So far, analysts have not been impressed. Anita Frazier at NPD Group said, "I'm pessimistic" citing the cometition and the lack of "breakthrough and proprietary titles from a well-known franchise."

Michael Pachter at Wedbush Morgan Securities added, "Somebody had a really good idea, but they haven't figured out how to implement it." Even with all the features, "if it is not a phone, I definitely have to carry two devices," he remarked.

Sounds like the Gizmondo is trying to be something for everyone. Whether it can do anything well will be the big question...