The Gizmondo was launched in 2005 by Tiger Telematics (not to be confused with Tiger Electronics, developers of Game.com and R-Zone) and took on the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. It had unique features such as Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, SMS & MMS, GPS and GPRS. Only 25,000 units were ever sold in its short lifespan.
Why it Flopped
- Limited advertising in the United States with only 4 games that were released in the United States while only 1 game released in Europe.
- The Gizmondo cost $400. You could buy it for $229, with the downside of having to watch adverts. Its competition, Sony PSP cost $249 and Nintendo DS cost $149.
- It was mostly sold in shopping mall kiosks.
- Stefan Eriksson, one of the people involved in its development and Carl Freer, the founder and CEO of Tiger Telematics, had criminal records in the past that surfaced a year after they resigned from Tiger Telematics and after the Gizmondo was released.
- Shortly after Gizmondo was released, Freer announced a wider screened Gizmondo, which may have made gamers hesitant to purchase the original. A wider screened Gizmondo was never released.
- Only 14 games were released for the system before Tiger Telematics went bankrupt!
- The chassis that was used for it was a rubber case with no plasic underneath, meaning that this console is slowly melting with time.
Because only 25,000 units were sold, Gamepro called it the worst selling handheld of all time and in 2007, Gametrailers listed it as the worst console of all time.