Best of British: Gizmondo Doomed To Fail?


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The Gizmondo combined media player, phone and gaming gadget went on sale in the last month for £229. The device sports an impressive spec: - It can be used to play games, music tracks and movies, it can take and store digital photos and can send SMS, MMS and emails, GPS, GPRS and Bluetooth for multi-player gaming.

From April 22nd you'll be able to buy a Gizmondo for £100 less - a cool 44% saving. In return, for this discount, Gizmondo users will have to watch three “Smart Adds” per day.

The Smart Adds will mainly consist of video clips and small games that come with redemption codes or barcodes that are wirelessly delivered to your Gizmondo over its GPRS connection.

I'm not so sure that this option is cheaper. . . . Ok, 44% less but who pays the data cost for downloading the ad? Even if each ad is only 100Kb (I'm guessing they'll be more but I'm being generous) then on my network (Vodafone) at £2.35/Mb these ads would cost me £257!!!

Other reasons why I think the Gizmondo is destined for failure are:

- It costs £229. Nintendo's DS handheld costs £99, and a PSP is expected to cost £129 - far less than the cost of a Gizmondo

- The DS already has a pool of fans of earlier Nintendo handhelds to draw on (87,000 DS handhelds were sold in the first two days in Europe) and the PSP is also likely to have a strong following

- Most importantly, it doesn't have a killer game for launch

I'd love to be able to ‘Buy British’ but I think the Gizmondo will go the way of the C5, Sedgeway etc. May be worth buying one as I bet it will be worth a bit in 10 years!

Maybe in a year I’ll be proven wrong.

The author runs a blog following developments in the internet and mobile internet sectors. With over 10 years experience in strategy consulting and business development, and has seen and lived through the highs, and the lows of the industry.

Based in London, the author can be contacted on and his blog can be found at


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