Gizmondo European street dates announced
Tiger Telematics has announced May 19 as the street date for Gizmondo in France, Italy, Germany Spain and the Nordic regions, as part of what it describes as "an aggressive expansion" of launch activity.
The standard Gizmondo pack will retail at â'¬349, while a Value Pack will be available priced â'¬289. For â'¬189 consumers can choose the Smart Adds-enabled Gizmondo which receives up to three promotional messages per day and comes with 20 free music downloads.
Gizmondo Europe says that of the 250 million consumers in the territories, 12% belong to the handheld's target demographic, and the company is confident that enough support is in place for a successful launch.
"We have witnessed tremendous enthusiasm and excitement from all our retail partners," said global sales VP Mike Morgan.
"Our commitment over the coming months will be to support the channel and aggressively drive sales with them as we engage these strategically important territories."
Tiger Telematics co-founder and chairman Carl Freer added: "Gizmondo's local offices have primed each of these mainland Europe launch territories ready for a 19th May launch date and the response in each has been overwhelming."
Retailers quoted by the company are certainly forthcoming in their praise. Virgin Megastore France's console buyer described the arrival of the Gizmondo as "a real revolution", while Andreas Kniza of Germany's Karstadt AG confirmed "massive support" for the handheld.
In the Nordic regions, pre-launch campaigns are said to have exceeded expectations, with the product especially well received in southern Sweden.
But it's from Italy that Gizmondo receives its most glowing welcome. Matteo di Silvia - former owner and chairman of Teleherz, the company which introduced colour TV to the country - commented: " We feel that now with Gizmondo we are leading an even greater revolution in the electronics entertainment industry by introducing a revolutionary new product to Italy.
"We know intrinsically that this system will sweep the market, as colour television did, and change forever our entertainment priorities."
The Gizmondo launched in the UK on March 18 and in Ireland yesterday. The company also recently announced plans to launch flagship Gizmondo stores - like the one already on London's Regent Street - in 21 cities around the world, including Paris, Barcelona, Hamburg, Stockholm and Milan.
It is still considered by many to be a runner-up up in the battle of the handhelds, lagging behind the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, but the company is confident that the console's extra features - such as text messaging, GPS and a built-in camera - will give it the edge in Europe and beyond.
"The product, the company and the content are gaining momentum all the time," said Freer.
"These launches are landmark achievements for us and place us several steps closer to our US debut."