Gizmondo gets "revised rollout"

Company exec says new launch strategy will help handheld in the US market; online retailer lists new, delayed launch date.

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Carl Freer, the CEO of Gizmondo Europe Ltd., confirmed yesterday that the UK-based firm will soon announce revised plans for the US debut of the Gizmondo handheld.

According to Freer, an alteration in the release date became necessary after the successful UK launch of the device induced a shortage in supply. In spite of the shortfall, Freer said the Gizmondo will hit the US market with 500,000 units on hand.

He did not offer any further details on Gizmondo's new US plans, however, and remained mum on the subject of changes to the device's US launch date.

A Gizmondo exec added to Freer's remarks in an e-mail to GameSpot this morning. According to James Beaven, Gizmondo's head of global communications, two important components of the US launch have been delayed--the Gizmondo's satellite navigation software and "a particularly big game in the US."

These delays, coupled with the difficulty of manufacturing sufficient inventory for the US market, have caused the launch window to move into the "pre-Christmas selling period." Beaven also mentioned that the extra time will be used to set up a Los Angeles-based retail and marketing center for the Gizmondo.

Earlier this week, GameSpot learned that the San Francisco-based public relations agency responsible for the Gizmondo's US promotion had terminated its relationship with the company, prompting questions about the device's overall operations in this market. A quick check of online retailers sees Electronics Boutique presently listing the release date for the Gizmondo (and all of its games and accessories) as September 20--a full five weeks after the August 13 date listed in the company's most recent documentation.

Whatever its situation in the US may be, Gizmondo certainly hasn't suspended its activities in the UK. The company today said that six new games would grace the Gizmondo's European catalog in August, including SSX 3, FIFA 2005, Ball Busters, Classic Compendium, and Point of Destruction.

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