I can't decide whether the new Gizmondo (top) looks better or if it's that the old version (bottom) looks so bad!
Ever since I first got my hands on the Gizmondo I've known something was terribly wrong about Tiger's portable. With its uncomfortable design, atrocious spelling, commercials, and low-quality software, it just seemed like the Gizmondo was being sabotaged every step of the way. I figured there was nothing Tiger could do to hurt the launch of the Gizmondo more than they already had ... but that was before they announced an upgraded version of the hardware.
No, you did not read that wrong ... Tiger announced what is tantamount to the Gizmondo 2 mere weeks before the regular old Gizmondo is released in the U.S. They've given the few people that were actually excited about the portable absolutely no reason to buy it now when they can simply wait for what promises to be a vastly improved model. I've seen a lot of bad business decisions in my life - the Sega 32X instead of Saturn, Nintendo sticking with cartridges, a Wayne's World game - but this has to be the dumbest move since Atari released ET!
What makes this announcement even more baffling is the fact that the new model is less of an upgrade than it is a new (better) look. Where the
Sure Nokia did the same thing with the N-Gage, but at least they waited until the taco-version had been out for awhile!
original version (that was not been released yet) is ugly and sports a standard 4:3 display, this upcoming model is ugly and features a widescreen display ... making it look a lot more like Sony's PlayStation Portable. It offers a few other changes, but this new Gizmondo is essentially the same thing you could buy in a few days when its less impressive counterpart is released.
Apparently Tiger felt its arm was being twisted, since only days before their official announcement unofficial pictures of the product surfaced surprising almost nobody. Tiger could have played it off as a hoax, some PhotoShop prank made by somebody who lacks any kind of life what so ever ... but they decided to do the almost noble thing and announce that they really were planning on releasing a much cooler version of the Gizmondo only months after releasing the regular crappy one. Hmm, I guess they still come off as dicks, strange.
I don't care how much better the new Gizmondo looks, you're still going to need to watch commercials to get the thing to work!
What's even more perplexing is that Tiger's bullet-in-foot strategy seems to be rubbing off on other game companies. Nintendo, who has been busy prepping the launch of their third Game Boy Advance incarnation, the Game Boy Micro, announced that they would be making their Game Boy Advance SP even cooler with a brighter light. For those who have lost track of Nintendo's portables, the SP is the Game Boy that is cheaper and sexier than the upcoming Game Boy Micro. To make the SP even more attractive, it plays every single Game Boy game ever made (something neither the Micro or DS can do).
But like Tiger, Nintendo felt the need to announce this mere days before they launched a "new" system, baffling just about everybody and
With games like Castlevania on the way, there's no reason to go to the Micro when you can get the DS!
potentially hurting sales. Releasing a hand held device that is only $30 less than Nintendo's "next generation" portable, the Nintendo DS, would seem like a questionable business decision to begin with ... but when you go ahead and announce that the cheaper model is now going to be even better, well that's just absurd. The days that lead up to a system launch are the days when you're supposed to be letting everybody else do the talking for you, the best thing a game company like Nintendo or Tiger can do is simply keep their mouths shut until people have actually gone out and purchased the product.
With only weeks to go before Tiger officially releases their Gizmondo (the normal, totally unspectacular model) they are going to have to try really hard to screw up more than they already have. Perhaps they'll announce that the widescreen model will be free to anybody who decides not to buy the regular Gizmondo? Or how about pre-loaded Uwe Boll movies at launch? They could still announce that they are going to deal exclusively in Full Motion Video titles. Just as long as they don't kill a puppy for every system sold I think we'll all be fine.