After a number of reports emerged this week stressing concern over Gizmondo's imminent launch in the U.S, the company handling the handheld machine's affairs has responded with a dismissal of the rumours and news of a delayed launch.
Previous accounts in the U.S regarding Gizmondo expressed concern after little information or marketing build-up for the machine had surfaced, with the launch originally scheduled for August 11th. A representative from Gizmondo Europe spoke to GamesIndustry.biz to clarify the situation.
"We're moving the release date, which is why there hasn't been anything promotion-wise yet," said the representative. "The new release date is now October for the North American Gizmondo launch. More details will be released next week. There will be a launch event, but at present it's not been decided where or when."
The slip has been attributed to the lack of two key titles to the territory, a satellite navigation package and "major" unnamed US game. "August is a slow month for retail, and with these two major items of software delayed, it made little sense to launch the machine," said our source.
Further to this, he revealed that the company is suffering a hardware shortage, which would hamper its ability to release Gizmondo across the US as initially planned. It is hoped that the October date will allow more time for distribution as well as giving time for the opening of a Los Angeles office for a Gizmondo specific R&D team and a dedicated marketing staff to couple the current sales team.
He also vehemently refuted the claims of staff downsizing in the London flagship store on Regent Street. "There's the same number of staff and the machine is shifting enough stock. Even then the store is meant to be a technical showcase, there for brand experience, not a box shifting exercise, much like when people go to the Apple shop while getting iPods from somewhere else. It's a focal point for the branding."
Sales figures are expected to be published for Gizmondo soon, with our source stating: "Until the appropriate SEC filings have been made, we're unable to make a statement. We can tell you that we're extremely pleased with sales in the UK so far, and the retail roll-out continues."
Meanwhile, Gizmondo Europe has published this month's game line-up for the handheld, with Classic Compendium, Ball Busters, EA Sports FIFA Football 2005, and SSX 3 all due during the next four weeks. Point of Destruction will be the first of this new batch, releasing this Friday for UKP 9.99.