Gizmondo fans may be disappointed, although not entirely surprised, to hear that the next generation of their favorite handheld gaming device will miss its end-of-year target launch date (after missing its May 2008 launch already).
Apparently something called “the economy” is slowing things down and Team Gizmondo actually started looking for a new equipment manufacturer after the original Chinese company hired to build the thing had been “dragging their feet,” according to tech reporter Hans Sandberg.
Upon searching for a better manufacturer, it was decided that the Gizmondo hardware needed to be redesigned altogether. Current plans apparently entail building added functionality into Windows Mobile and Android devices in the form of an advanced OMAP3 graphics chip from Texas Instruments. The software platform will also apparently be completely open, as in, no restrictions for developers whatsoever. You can code up a game, put it on the Gizmondo market, and see if it sells. There’d be no verification process by the company. Iffy? We’ll see.
As far as the device itself is concerned, it’ll actually work as a phone and will be available in two versions – Windows Mobile and Android. Says Sandberg,
The new Gizmondo will come in two versions, Windows CE and Linux based Android. And as it will be built on a smartphone platform, it will have a phone! But, it will not cost 99 dollars, for the simple reason that it costs more to by from OEM’s than if you have a large manufacturer who can build everything from scratch.
Of course, the actual launch date and definitive pricing will be pretty important – and we have neither of those figures yet.