US Giz release delayed
Games flowing freely in UK.
After initial reports stressing concern over Gizmondo's imminent launch in the US, the company handling the handheld machine's affairs has responded with a dismissal and news of a delayed launch.
Previous accounts in the US regarding Gizmondo expressed concern after little information or marketing build-up for the machine had surfaced, with the launch originally scheduled for August 11th. A representative from Gizmondo Europe spoke to us to clarify the situation.
"We're moving the release date, which is why there hasn't been anything promotion-wise yet," said the representative. "The new release date is now October for the North American Gizmondo launch. More details will be released next week. There will be a launch event, but at present it's not been decided where or when."
The slip has been attributed to the lack of two key titles in the territory, a satellite navigation package and a "major" unnamed US game. "August is a slow month for retail, and with these two major items of software delayed, it made little sense to launch the machine," said our source. Further to this, he pointed out a lack of units to release Gizmondo as widespread in the US as initially planned, with insufficient quantities for a full launch. It is hoped the October date will allow more time for distribution as well as give time for the opening of a Los Angeles branch for a Gizmondo specific R&D team and a dedicated marketing staff to couple the current sales team.
He also vehemently refuted the claims of staff downgrading in the London flagship store "There's the same number of staff and the machine is shifting enough stock. Even then the store is meant to be a technical showcase, there for brand experience, not a box-shifting exercise, much like when people go to the Apple shop while getting iPods from somewhere else. It's a focal point for the branding."
Recent sales figures are expected to be published for Gizmondo soon, with our source stating: "Until the appropriate SEC filings have been made, we're unable to make a statement. We can tell you that we're extremely pleased with sales in the UK so far, and the retail roll-out continues."
Meanwhile, Gizmondo Europe has published this month's game line-up for the handheld, with Classic Compendium, Ball Busters, EA Sports FIFA Football 2005, and SSX 3 [which is pretty good, you know - Tom] all due during the next four weeks. Point of Destruction will be the first of this new batch, releasing this Friday for £9.99.