It was back in January that we reviewed Sony’s top notch PSP and the blasted thing has still not shipped. The latest date we have for it is 29 April, will it arrive then or just continue to taunt us with its sleek loveliness? With this is mind, smaller fish Gizmondo is quickly bringing up the rear with its own portable which will now officially debut on 19 March, priced £229 including VAT.
Like the PSP, the Gizmondo device had initially been expected on these shores ages ago (last Autumn to be precise) so the revealed date is hardly an example of slick marketing. It does, however, dangle something tempting in front of gamers' eyes for over a month while they wait to get their grubby mitts on a PSP (£234 including VAT) and it is well known that if you dangle something long enough a few people are going to snap (damn dangling). Of course, it is worth nothing at this point that Gizmondo won’t have an entirely clear playing field to work with as Nintendo’s cheaper offering, the DS, hits shelves eight days earlier for a paltry £100.
Anyway, back to Gizmondo. For those of you who have forgotten (or are still in the dark in the first place) the portable console is featured very similarly to the PSP and is being marketed as heavily as a portable media player as it is a games device. It is powered by a Samsung ARM9 400MHz processor and GoForce 3D 4500 nVidia graphics accelerator, the screen is a chunky 2.8 inches and it offers the same messaging, music playing, movie watching capabilities as the PSP. There is Bluetooth for nearby multiplayer experience, GPRS for long distance multiplayer experience, a GPS chip (just like the N-GAGE series which Gizmondo also makes) for location based services and memory slots capable of taking SD and MMC formats.
So what do you get in the box for your £229? Apart from the console is a mains charger, contract free SIM card, promotional SD card containing music, games and movie demos, in-ear headphones and a 1.75m USB cable. Games will be priced at three levels: £9.99, £19.99 and £29.99, there is no word yet on movie titles.
Not-at-all coincidentally, the console’s launch ties in with the official opening of Gizmondo’s new store on Regent Street. How very Apple of them.