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Blaze dates NeoGeo X console, finally comments on GameGadget

Ben Parfitt
Blaze dates NeoGeo X console, finally comments on GameGadget

The retro NeoGeo X console will be released in Europe on December 6th, distributor Blaze has confirmed.

Eurogamer reports that the officially licensed console includes a 4.3 inch LCD screen, stereo speakers, a charging station, NeoGeo X Arcade Stick and 20 pre-loaded games.

It will retail for £175.

Meanwhile, Blaze has at last spoken out about the somewhat disastrous launch of its last console, the GameGadget. That machine was announced by the company a year ago and even then raised eyebrows.

Blaze promised a device that would “change the way games are played, developed and sold” thanks to its grand plan to licence retro titles from publishers for release through a dedicated GameGadget download portal.

MCV’s piece at the time began “if market success were achieved through ambition and self-belief, then Blaze’s new machine is a guaranteed winner”. And so it transpired that our scepticism was fully justified.

Some six months on and the GameGadget had its sale price slashed by £40 to just £59.99 following a launch that saw the machine unplayable out of the box and a pitiful selection of titles available.

It was also criticised for its poor screen and lack of physical volume controls, forcing users to quit out of any game they are playing to increase or decrease the volume.

Eurogamer also got wind of some questionable feedback on the handheld’s official forum including claims such as "we are going to prove you all wrong eventually” and "we may be not moving as quickly as you would like, but we are doing our best, I'm sorry if that's not good enough for you”.

Company representatives have also subsequently apologised for fake product reviews of the GameGadget posted on Amazon.

However, an anonymous spokesperson for whoever remains in charge of the product after its many changes in ownership has finally moved to address some of its customer’s long-standing gripes.

"Hands up! We are sorry! We got the launch wrong in a number of ways,” the source told Eurogamer. “Firstly the price was too high, although we refunded all early adopters down to the revised £60 retail price (due to increased production runs).

"We also over-promised on the titles we believed we could bring to the table quickly. We had a lot of contracts on the table at the time we made the announcement for the GameGadget and we thought we would complete them. Although a number of them are still either in negotiation or with various legal departments, we have not got them over the line, so you can fairly say we didn't deliver on the number of games we said could be available within a reasonable time from the launch of the product. Though there was never any intention to mislead anyone.

"We are simply not going to promise anything other than the GameGadget being an incredibly able piece of kit. It comes with 10 free great Mega Drive titles. Users can find dozens of freeware titles on the Gamegadget website and there are hundreds more on the internet for them to discover. When we get more licensed games we will announce them, otherwise we won't be making announcements.”

Furthermore the company is to release an amended version of the hardware next month. The GameGadget 1.1 will offer a new screen and a cut-price RRp of £39.99, available only through the official website.

The company has even promised both a GameGadget Pocket (a smaller version of the current hardware) and the GameGadget 2.0 (a more powerful version).

Blaze pegs total lifetime GameGadget sales at 20,000 units.

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Tags: price , handheld , release date , blaze , GameGadget , NeoGeo X

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