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Economic crisis halts Gizmondo relaunch

Freer having a rethink and redesign.

Gizmondo father Carl Freer has had to postpone the Christmas relaunch of the fabled handheld because the economy is less healthy than a bag of crisps.

"Unfortunately, we've had to reschedule the launch of Gizmondo. It's due to the economic climate in the US, as well as in the rest of the world. It has affected us in our ability to fund and get funded in regards to the manufacturing of components," Freer told The Nordic Link.

"We've had some very, very touch and go moments here for three months. It has affected everyone. I was at one point thinking of abandoning the whole project, because I didn't see a way out of it; a way to fund it.

"I don't have half a billion dollars or 300 million dollars. You can only try and do your best," he said.

Freer had run into problems with the Chinese company manufacturing the handheld, which has lead to an entire rethink not only of how to get to market, but also of the hardware itself.

His latest lightbulb idea is to turn the Gizmondo into a smartphone with a 3D graphics chip and, more importantly, an open platform.

"If you look at gaming devices today, they consist mainly of the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS. There are a few other renegades, the Game Park and so on, but what we are talking about is creating a fully wireless Pocket PC, one that also has a gaming engine," added Freer.

"There is nothing out there in the market that has the open source AppStore compatibility that we are talking about."

This will likely push the price point over the magical USD 99 figure Freer had hoped to re-enter the market at this Christmas. But then this Gizmondo will actually be a phone, although quite a large one by the sound of it.

Incidentally, those who once bought the original Gizmondo will be able to trade the old model in for the Chinese-manufactured bunch that are presumably not being used for much else now.

All we need now is a release date. We'll not hold our breath.