Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Tapwave, move out of the gaming sector!

Tapwave is considered the new Sony by many commentators. Indeed, their Zodiac handhelds deployed with fascinating new hardware-even the TE was endangered by the Z1-its darn cheap and still has a superb, large screen. The OS contains nifty hacks that let any other handheld look like a brick. ln addition, the second SD Card slot can get useful in some situations. The powerful graphic chip and processor can cook up graphics that beat the crap out of all Gameboys. A creative stereo speaker makes cool tunes, and the double battery gives stamina.
When this handheld was introduced, most commentators were sure that Tapwave hit the bull's eye.
Indeed, the Zodiac is a superb gaming platform-but it is also a very performant PDA. And here is Tapwaves achilles heel-they focus on the gaming part because they are alone in this sector. This strategy seems to work well for now, but I see a big dark cloud coming from Japan-its the Sony PSP. This system is said to be more-less compatible with stock playstation games(its just a recompile/media change-not even a real port) and thus will have access to literally thousands of famous games from experienced developers. Now compare that to the few PC ports/custom no-name games(Command and Conquer is more famous than Warfare Inc.) for the Zod. Looks like real trouble straight ahead-if Tapwave keeps focussing on the gaming sector only.
Now, lets forget the gaming part for a minute. The Zod is a powerful handheld workstation that doubles as MP3 and Video Player. However, most users never hear about this special feature. The marketing focusses on the gaming part-and this definitely isn't the way to go! If the ads would concentrate on stopping the Zodiac=Gameboy++ beleif, the PSP could prepare for a bloody nose. Well, there's no email client for it, and where's the spreadsheet and photo viewer?
What do you think? Am I just talking rubbish? Or do you share my thoughts? Anonymous comments are allowed, so lets discuss!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Sony is out and the T5 is lame, my hopes are pinned on a Zodiac 3 as a replacement for my Tungsten T. What I'd like to see in the next Zodiac:

WiFi built-in
dedicated 3D Grpahics hip
Faster CPU
OLED screen!!

Tapwave is now the standard-bearer for high end Palm PDA's. I hope more people start to purchase the Zodiacs...

6:44 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
altough I love to give detailled feedback about my comments, I have a little problem here. I just 100% agree!
Best regards and thank you for visiting
Tam Hanna

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think TapWave pegged their market segment with all those game company partnerships. You're right though, markets need education that Palm Powered handhelds can serve as many multimedia functions as some of these standalone players, ie ipod, iriver, archos, etc
It's great to play videos and mp3 limited by only the SD size and drivers.
In addition to breaking out of the typecasting as the lone PalmGamer, I would love to see a Z3 phone. Let's hope as your blog suggests that TW won't be clobbered out as a 1 trick pony.

-Tony in San Francisco

9:43 PM  

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