The Gizmondo is a handheld gaming console released by Tiger Telematics in March 2005. The electronics design was undertaken by Plextek Limited and the industrial design by Rick Dickinson. The project was from the beginning managed by the founder and CEO, Carl Freer. It was never released in Japan or Australia.
The Gizmondo device was originally called Gametrac. Tiger Telematics first published on their website in October 2003 about the device being developed. This came in response after Nokia's N-Gage which failed to deliver a good handheld gaming mobile device. Gizmondo came in the press during December that year, and made its debut as a concept product at the Las Vegas CES show in January 2004, and later appeared at the German CeBIT show in March 2004. The company and the console were renamed Gizmondo around August 2004. Its OS was Windows CE 4.2 with .NET Framework. Its first-party games were developed in studios in Helsingborg, Sweden, and Manchester, UK.
The Gizmondo was heavily advertised. British Formula One driver Jenson Button appeared on magazine adverts for the Gizmondo, and also had his own licensed video game for the device, Chicane, though it never released due to a dispute with Tiger Telematics and the developer of the game. In London's Regent Street, Tiger Telematics opened a party with several celebrities invited to promote the console. There were also two television adverts after the release. Also, in an attempt to promote the console, Gizmondo's executive Stefan Eriksson took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race of 2005 in a Gizmondo-sponsored Ferrari 360 Modena GTC. But the Gizmondo was overshadowed by the involvement of Eriksson crashing a Ferrari Enzo in Malibu, California and pleading guilty to numerous charges which led him to 2 years in jail.
Before the release, it was a popular topic among gamers due to its unique features such as Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel camera, SMS & MMS, GPS and GPRS; all things which its competitors, Sony's PSP and the Nintendo DS, did not have at the time, as well as the Tapwave Zodiac and the ill-fated N-Gage. The Gizmondo was expected to be a huge commercial success by most journalists at the time, however it never met its momentum. With fewer than 25,000 units sold, the Gizmondo was named by GamePro as the worst selling handheld console in history. By 6 February 2006, the company was forced into bankruptcy and the Gizmondo was discontinued. In 2007, Gametrailers named it "the worst console of all time."