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Gizmondo U.S. Release Delayed, Portfolio Diversifies Further

Gizmondo U.S. Release Delayed, Portfolio Diversifies Further

August 5, 2005 | By Simon Carless

August 5, 2005 | By Simon Carless
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Handheld console maker Gizmondo Europe, itself a subsidiary of Jacksonville, Florida-based Tiger Telematics Inc, has announced that it has rescheduled the launch of its Gizmondo handheld in North America from its original 11th August street date into October.

Gizmondo, which has recently announced the opening of a Los Angeles office in tandem with the 'right-sizing' of a number of its European development facilities, is putting a brave face on this shift, according to Carl Freer, Co-founder and Chairman, Tiger Telematics: "We're mindful that North America is a hugely influential and strategically important market, and we're determined to package every aspect of the U.S. launch to succeed. Right now this means a short term delay, but the benefits clearly outweigh any criticism we may have to face."

In particular, a satellite navigation package utilizing GPS and an unannounced, high-profile game were specified as the reason for the shift in release date. Around 8 largely internally-developed game titles have debuted so far for the Gizmondo in Europe, with the handheld selling an unconfirmed amount of copies through limited retail outlets, and the launch line-up for North America is as yet unconfirmed.

However, it is the story behind the company which continues to interest, with Gizmondo's holdings diversifying in ways that must fascinate shareholders, although may lead some to question the company's market capitalization of $1.08 billion. Most recently revealed was the company's part ownership of a modeling agency, Isis Models, which was apparently acquired "to provide marketing support and arrangements for Gizmondo".

The latest excursion into non-gaming investment for Gizmondo comes in the form of part-ownership of a British racehorse. The chestnut colt, called Gizmondo, trained by M L W Bell and owned by Gizmondo Europe Ltd & Mr K J Mercer, made its debut run in the 3.00pm race at Yarmouth, England on the 4th August, and unfortunately placed 14th out of 16 runners, with the going described as 'good to firm'. Gizmondo does not have any other races scheduled in the near future.


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