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33 Consoles of Christmas
Gizmondo (2005)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 22, 2006   |   Episode 30 (Show Archive)  

It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!

Synopsis: The Gizmondo is a pathetic little handheld that was dead even before it was released. At a time when the DS and PSP were shooting up the charts, the Gizmondo wanted a piece of this lucrative portable market and decided that an overpriced and low quality handheld was the way to do it. Worse yet, unless you bought the most expensive model (which was more expensive than the Sony PSP) you would be forced to watch a TV commercial every time you wanted to play a game. The Gizmondo wasn't without a few bizarre innovations, though. If you're the type of person that constantly gets lost, then the Gizmondo's GPS unit will come in handy. But if you actually wanted to use the system to play games you were out of luck, which is just one of the reasons the system failed to make a dent in the market.

Best Games: Momma Can I Mow the Lawn? No no, I'm just kidding. Or am I?

Like the N-Gage, it's easy to hate the Gizmondo. Not only was it released at a time when we didn't need another portable game system, but it also failed at doing even the most basic tasks. Beyond the lack of any solid games and mandatory advertising, the Gizmondo is really just an ugly little handheld. The system's shape is not that much different from the N-Gage, but there are so many random buttons that it boggles the mind. My least favorite thing about the Gizmondo is the face buttons. Oh sure, they're positioned exactly like the PSP and DS, but who thought putting hieroglyphic symbols would help anybody figure out how to play? I can hear it now, "dude, push the squiggly lines, PUSH THE SQUIGGLY LINES!! Now, push the three vertical lines button. No no, now the one with the nine dots. Yeah, yeah, the nine dots. Push it now!!" I also hate the shoulder buttons, which look a lot like the tops of beer bottles. In fact, if it weren't for games like Momma Can I Mow the Lawn there would be no reason for me to even talk about this waste of plastic.

It appears we have yet another generic as hell looking handheld from a company trying to break into the market. While the Gizmondo met its fate in terms of sales and gamer appeal, the system itself was nothing to write home about. All of the buttons are spread out nice enough, and the system itself kind of looks like a canteen; a canteen with a GPS device instead of nourishing water. While I suppose I can overlook the lack of liquid, I can't get past the fact that the system really is so generic looking that I forget what exactly it looks like without pulling up my picture every few minutes. I expect a handheld to contain a certain degree of ZAZZ, and I just don't see anything particularly zazzy here. Meh, say I.


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