I met with Rich Jenkins, CEO of Media Power yesterday, and he told me that the new Gizmondo is here, but not yet on sale. I asked for physical proof, whereupon he opened a small storage room with combination lock, only to return like another Santa Claus with a big hard package, stacked with neatly bubblewrapped Gizmondos. Direct from China. "The rest are in the warehouse," he said.
Rich Jenkins says that the deal with the Chinese manufacturer is "negotiated and done," and that the company can ramp up production next year depending on the demand. The design is basically the same as the first Gizmondo, but with a newer version of nVidia's graphics chip and a new battery. (Owners of the first Gizmondo can send in their old crappy battery and get a new and better one for free.)
The price? Carl Freer thought he could launch it at $99 dollars when we spoke almost a year ago, but Rich Jenkins says that it probably will be higher. "We're working on the price," he says. The new Gizmondo will come with either Windows CE 6.0 or Google's new Android operating system. the new unit will be open, so that you can run any Windows CE game on it. But you have to choose between CE and Android. You can't have both, or switch, at least not yet.
You'll have to wait until November-December to order it on the company's upcoming - and really, really cool website, which will be launched in Mid-October.
And I had almost turned cynical about the new Gizmondo, as deadlines passed only to be followed by new ones.... but here it is at last!
PS. Back home in my office, I asked myself. How do I know that it really was the new version he showed me? It was a new box and unopened shipping box from China he cut open, but couldn't it have been an old box? I guess it could have, but what would he and Carl Freer have gained by doing that? To extend a charade for another two months? It doesn't make sense, so for now at least, I believe that he told me the truth and showed me the real thing.
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