RENAISSANCE is eagerly awaiting the first units of a new handheld entertainment device being launched in Britain today to arrive in the country - and so are its resellers.
The distributor holds exclusive distribution rights for New Zealand and Australia to the Gizmondo - a device developed by UK company Tiger Telematrics that combines gaming, music, video, text messaging, GPS and digital camera functions.
Paul Johnstone, Renaissance managing director, says the company cannot wait to bring the first units into the country, adding scores of resellers are lining up to catch their first glimpse of the new gadget.
“We are very excited about it and are waiting with bated breath. From what we have seen it is going to be a very impressive machine,” he says.
Renaissance was one of the first companies in the world to sign up to distribute the Gizmondo, which ensures that New Zealand will be one of the first countries to receive the product after it is launched in Europe and the US.
The console is due to arrive here by early next year, says Johnstone, who expects to sell at least 10,000 and possibly as many as 50,000 units in the first year of release.
“This is a brand new device that opens up a whole new market,” he says.
While the Gizmondo - originally named Gametrack until it was redubbed in April - is at heart a gaming device, it also caters for GPRS and text messaging functions as it includes a SIM card reader.
Games, music, video and other applications can be loaded onto the machine through SD memory cards, while a digital still and motion camera and a GPS are also built into it.
Gizmondo is powered by Microsoft Windows CE platform and features a 2.8-inch TFT colour screen, a 400MHz processor and a 64-bit graphics accelerator.
In a similar vein as its arrangement with Apple, Renaissance will effectively act as Gizmondo in the country, says Johnstone, and will handle marketing, distribution and servicing. He adds, however, that the Gizmondo does not conflict with Apple’s iPod.
“Music is just one of the things it does, so it is not a contender for the iPod.”
Renaissance will make the product available through all its channels, but Johnstone expects most sales to be in the consumer space. He says the company is already in talks with another firm to develop applications that will extend the functions of the device, however.
“I can guarantee that it will take the Gizmondo into markets no one else has thought of,” he says, but declines to disclose any further details.
Neither is he revealing the local pricing for the product yet, but says it will be aggressive. The Gizmondo is expected to retail in the UK at around the £200 mark.