CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW: CNET editors cover the Next Big Thing
The Swiss Army Knife approach to portable gaming
January 6, 2005; 1:30 p.m.
The product: Gizmondo has taken the wraps off an eponymous portable gaming device that's a Swiss Army Knife among handheld consoles. In addition to being an on-the-go gaming platform, the Gizmondo delivers wireless text messaging and e-mail, GPS capabilities, a digital camera, and a portable video player.
The device, which will be available in retail stores this spring, is meant to go head-to-head with the PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo DS. The slickly designed Gizmondo runs on the Microsoft Windows CE.NET 4.2 OS and uses Windows Media Player for playback of digital audio and video. It includes an SD slot for storage.
To maximize gaming capabilities, it features the Nvidia GeForce 3D 4500 graphics solution. Gizmondo says that 12 games will be available at launch; so far, the company has agreements with Electronic Arts, Activision, Sega, and Microsoft.
For messaging, the Gizmondo employs GSM triband GPRS for POP3 e-mail service and text messaging. A SIM card will come with the device, and users will buy messaging minutes under a plan still being hammered out by the company. The Gizmondo includes a GPS receiver that will enable users to employ location-aware services and games.
Tech specs include:
The prospects: Given its expansive capabilities, cool design, and support from major gaming publishers, the Gizmondo just might be the console to beat this year. It's certainly an impressive, sleek piece of hardware. A major challenge will be whether the company can deliver a wide category of game titles.
By Rik Fairlie, editor, Computer Shopper
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