View Full Version : WIRED: Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-up

10 October 2006, 05:34 PM
"THE BUMP IN THE ROAD that ended Bo Stefan Eriksson's fantastic ride is practically invisible. From 10 feet away, all you can see is the ragged edge of a tar-seamed crack in an otherwise smooth sheet of pavement. Only the location is impressive - a sweet stretch of straightaway on California's Pacific Coast Highway near El Pescador state beach, just past the eucalyptus-shaded mansions of the Malibu hills. On that patch of broken asphalt, there's barely enough lip to stub a toe. Of course, when you hit it at close to 200 miles per hour, as police say Eriksson did in the predawn light last February 21, while behind the wheel of a 660-horsepower Ferrari Enzo, consequences magnify.

The Enzo has less than 6 inches of ground clearance, and at that speed, it took only a slight scrape under the front bumper to launch the vehicle. The airborne Ferrari landed in a skid that in a blink became a sidelong drift. Tires shredding, the car bounced over the shoulder onto a grassy slope wet with dew. All Eriksson could do was hold on as the slithering, swiveling Enzo again achieved liftoff, then slammed broadside into a wooden power pole.

The crash became an instant media sensation. In Los Angeles, the destruction of the rare million-dollar Ferrari - and the strange story that rose from the wreckage - dominated local radio talk shows and TV newscasts for days. For most, it was just another diversion, the newest twist on the high-speed-chase formula the city loves. But the public attention would spell disaster for a handful of people connected to Eriksson, many of them fellow participants in one of the biggest debacles in the history of the videogame industry: the epic meltdown of Gizmondo Europe, Eriksson's former company.

In the early 2000s, Gizmondo rose to prominence as the maker of a handheld gaming device designed to compete with Nintendo's DS and Sony's PlayStation Portable. The company touted its gadget as the next big thing in pocket electronics and, at one point, talked of moving half a million units in just a few months. But critics panned the device, and it failed to entice many customers. A month before Eriksson went off the road, Gizmondo declared bankruptcy, having hemorrhaged nearly $400 million in less than four years.



10 October 2006, 06:36 PM
Wow... the story sounds like it came straight out of hollywood. :eek:

10 October 2006, 08:34 PM
I had no idea he was involved with Gizmondo but I read and heard the news saying he was a international fugitive with warrents for his arrest. Before the crash no one had a clue and he was living the high life in Malibu. Last I heard (months ago) is that he was going to try and fight extradition to Europe.

He initially claimed someone else was driving - proved to be false and they soon found he was in possesion of other rare vehicles that he did not own.

EDIT: Holy **** has that story grown - some real bizzare turn of events. That just could be turned into a movie.

10 October 2006, 09:41 PM
Why is it, nowadays, every new console being brought to market is often headed by con artists and criminals? First the Phantom project, now Gizmondo. I'm just waiting for the designers of N-Gage, Xavix, and NUON to suddenly show up as serial rapists or something.

10 October 2006, 11:23 PM
The whole 'gizmondo swindel' is quite bizarre - though it does make a change from the typical con-man storey. I mean a hand held games console of all things?? Oh well.

*edit: though i cant blame the dude for the accident, if i was going to crash a million dollar ferrari, it, too, would be on route one.

10 October 2006, 02:18 AM
Man I can't forget that crash.. seeing as how I was stuck in the traffic jam from hell because of it. I remeber seeing that car split in half!! Oh and don't forget the millions in cars and assets he lost weeks after that!

10 October 2006, 08:32 AM
Is it just me or did anyone else follow that link looking for footage!!


10 October 2006, 06:57 AM
Very well-written story.

It reminds me of the Pixelon debacle of 2000 (they were the losers who claimed to have invented a way to stream full-screen video over dialup connections, only to blow $14 million of their investor's money on a Who concert in Vegas.....well at least it was a good concert....but of course the company was a complete scam. The CEO was later uncovered to be a hillbilly conman from Virginia as I recall,1902,14183,00.html

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