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History of video games/Platforms/Gizmondo

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History[edit | edit source]

A booth in a Californian Mall selling Gizmondo handhelds in 2005.

Development[edit | edit source]

The Gizmondo was initially conceived as a GPS tracking device for parents to keep track of their family, and evolved into a games console from that concept as a way of getting family members to actually carry the device.[1]

Launch[edit | edit source]

On launch in March 2005 the Gizmondo cost 129 pounds with advertisements on the console, or 229 pounds without advertisements.[2] The console was marketed as providing a high end mobile gaming experience.[3]

A number of extravagant in person events were used to promote the console. Celebrities including Pharrell Williams, Sting, and Busta Rhymes were brought in to promote the console on launch day.[4] At one 2005 convention in London Gizmondo used flashy and extravagant displays to attempt to attract attention.[5]

An improved Gizmondo with a wide screen had been announced in September 2005 for a Q2 2006 release date but was never released.[6][7][8] When this announcement was made, the original Gizmondo had yet to release in North America, leading to many speculating that buyers there would simply wait for the better model and that current owners would feel disappointed about their purchase of console hardware which would be considered obsolete just a year after launch.[7][8]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Less than 25,000 Gizmondos were sold and was discontinued when Tiger Telematics went bankrupt in 2006.[2][9]

The media spectacle of a Gizmondo executive Ferrari speeding through LA and tales of ties to a Swedish Mafia is something commonly associated with the end of the console.[10][11]

The Gizmondo rubber finish is notoriously for aging poorly, and now tends to melt or fall off when held.[12][13]

Technology[edit | edit source]

Compute[edit | edit source]

The Gizmondo is powered by a Samsung S3C2440 ARM 9 architecture processor clocked at 400 megahertz.[14][15]

The system has 128 megabytes of RAM.[14][16]

The Gizmondo uses a NVIDIA GoForce 3D 4500 GPU.[14][15][17]

The Gizmondo runs Windows CE 4.2 as its real time operating system.[8][16][18] The widescreen Gizmondo would have ran Windows CE 5.0[8]

Hardware[edit | edit source]

The system has a 64 megabyte ROM.[14]

The Gizmondo uses a 2.8" color screen with a resolution of 240 by 320 pixels.[16]

The system has a built in VGA resolution (640 by 480 pixels) camera.[14][16][19]

Radios include Bluetooth, GPS, and GPRS.[16]

The battery capacity is 1100 mAh and lasts for about 3 hours of use.[14]

Game library[edit | edit source]

A Gizmondo store on Regent Street in London.

EU release Only[edit | edit source]

  • Fathammer Classics Pack
  • FIFA Soccer 2005
  • Hockey Rage 2005
  • Pocket Ping Pong 2005
  • Interstellar Flames 2
  • SSX 3

EU and North America releases[edit | edit source]

  • Classic Compendium
  • Classic Compendium 2
  • Gizmondo Motocross 2005
  • Point of Destruction
  • Richard Burns Rally
  • Sticky Balls
  • Toy Golf
  • Trailblazer

Wikipedia has a more complete list of Gizmondo games, including unreleased titles.

External Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Gibson, Ellie (13 July 2014). "A horse named Gizmondo: The inside story of the world's greatest failed console" (in en). Eurogamer. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-08-06-a-horse-named-gizmondo-the-inside-story-of-the-worlds-greatest-failed-console. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  2. a b "Gizmondo - Game Console - Computing History". https://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/36022/Gizmondo/. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  3. Marriott, Michel (6 May 2004). "NEWS WATCH: HAND-HELDS; Multipurpose Maverick Takes On the Game Boy (Published 2004)". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/06/technology/news-watch-hand-helds-multipurpose-maverick-takes-on-the-game-boy.html. 
  4. "Gizmondo Launch Brings London's West End to a Standstill" (in en). GamesIndustry.biz. https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/gizmondo-launch-brings-londons-west-end-to-a-standstill. 
  5. Johnson, Michelle (11 January 2006). "In computing, a blast from the past (Published 2006)". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/11/technology/in-computing-a-blast-from-the-past.html. 
  6. Patrick, Dennis (5 October 2018). "10 Unreleased Video Game Consoles That Were Scrapped After Being Announced". Gameranx. https://gameranx.com/features/id/162904/article/10-unreleased-video-game-consoles-that-were-scrapped-after-being-announced/. 
  7. a b Kuchera, Ben (17 September 2005). "The Gizmondo widescreen, spitting in the face of the two people interested in the original" (in en-us). Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2005/09/1274/. 
  8. a b c d Smith, Tony. "Widescreen Gizmondo coming Q2 2006" (in en). www.theregister.com. https://www.theregister.com/2005/09/19/widescreen_gizmondo/. 
  9. "The 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time Feature on GamePro.com". 13 October 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20071013043037/http://www.gamepro.com/gamepro/domestic/games/features/125749.shtml. Retrieved 17 November 2020. 
  10. "Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-up" (in en-us). https://www.wired.com/2006/10/gizmondo/. Retrieved 5 November 2020. 
  11. "Notorious Gangsters and No Games: The Gory Story of the Gizmondo" (in en). https://www.vice.com/en/article/7bx7zz/notorious-gangsters-and-no-games-the-gory-story-of-the-gizmondo. 
  12. Houlihan, Ryan. "The Gizmondo: Remembering the Swedish mafia’s bizarre and ambitious game console" (in en). https://www.inputmag.com/features/remembering-the-swedish-mafias-bizarre-ambitious-game-console-the-gizmondo. Retrieved 1 November 2020. 
  13. "History Lesson: The consoles that ‘failed’". 28 December 2019. https://www.videogameschronicle.com/features/consoles-that-failed/. Retrieved 1 November 2020. 
  14. a b c d e f "Tiger Telematics Gizmondo Specs" (in en). https://www.cnet.com/products/tiger-telematics-gizmondo/specs/. Retrieved 1 November 2020. 
  15. a b International, GamesIndustry (22 September 2004). "Gizmondo to be powered by new NVIDIA chip" (in en). https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/news220904gizmondo. Retrieved 1 November 2020. 
  16. a b c d e "New handheld consoles fight it out". 23 September 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3663594.stm. Retrieved 5 November 2020. 
  17. Jenkins, David. "Gamasutra - The Art & Business of Making Games" (in en). https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/95292/New_NVidia_Technology_To_Power_Gizmondo.php. Retrieved 13 November 2020. 
  18. "Tiger Telematics(r)' Gizmondo(tm) is Fair Game" (in en). GamesIndustry.biz. https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/tiger-telematicsr-gizmondotm-is-fair-game. 
  19. Cocker, Guy. "Performance" (in en). https://www.cnet.com/reviews/tiger-telematics-gizmondo-review/. Retrieved 5 November 2020.