Gizmondo Getting Cool US Reception

If you heard a loud thud over the weekend, it may have been Tiger Telematic's Gizmondo finally launching in the United States. The device, whose sales in the UK -- where it has been available since March -- have been somewhat disappointing, has received a cool response from US reviewers as well.

The handheld Gizmondo retails for $229 USD, and includes a 400MHz processor, a VGA camera, GPS, GPRS, and a 2.2-inch color LCD screen. It has a half-circle shape and comes in a black and silver casing. The operating system is a customized version of Windows CE, the company said.

Initially, 14 games are available for the device within the US.

The Gizmondo will not only be capable of gameplay, but will also be able to be used as a GPS device, a text and picture messaging phone without voice capabilities, and for MP3 and MPEG4 multimedia playback.

"The USA is the most challenging commercial market in the world and it's a significant achievement to be launching across 50 States," Mike Carrender, CEO of Tiger Telematics said. But from the sound of reviews, it looks like the Gizmondo has a long road ahead.

On Friday, following the announcement of the launch, the Associated Press called Gizmondo's games "uniformly terrible." The AP added, "Beyond certain technophiles who require a regular diet of new gadgets, I don't see Gizmondo being much of a player."

Also, problems were reported with multimedia playback, which stuttered, and sound and picture quality were issues for the reviewer.

CNN said the device is almost universally slow, saying it takes close to a minute to boot up versus five seconds for the Nintendo DS, and called the games "sub-par."

Nontheless, Gizmondo says that the device only needs to garner a "small slice of [of the games industry] to be successful."

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