NEW ZEALAND will not yet become a frontline for a promised battle between handheld entertainment devices.
While Sony released its PlayStation Portable (PSP) at the start of this month, the launch date for a competing gadget has been put back.
Renaissance had planned to introduce the Gizmondo portable entertainment unit on the same day as the PSP, but the device’s maker, Tiger Telematics, has decided to focus its energies on the more lucrative US market first.
Both machines are marketed primarily as gaming devices, but also include music and video playback.
In addition the Gizmondo is GPRS (general packet radio services) capable, giving it multi-media and text messaging functionality on the Vodafone network. It also features a built-in camera and GPS mapping capability, while a satellite navigation tool for the device was launched in the UK last month.
It is all these added features which helped delay the local launch, says Renaissance managing director Paul Johnstone.
“The company [Tiger Telematics] has decided to put all its efforts into building the backend infrastructure in the US to support functions such as GPS mapping,” he says.
Renaissance won the New Zealand and Australian agencies for the Gizmondo last October and at the time said the product would be available here early this year.
In May it pushed the launch date back to September 1. No new release date for this region has been fixed yet.
While acknowledging disappointment at the latest delay, Johnstone is philosophical about the matter.
“It is important we do it right and ensure everything behind the product is in place before it it’s launched, otherwise it will not be fully functional. The backend infrastructure has to be put in place first.”