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Zodiac hits the bricks at J&R
It's official...The Tapwave Zodiac Palm OS gaming PDA is now, at long last, available in real, live brick and mortar retail stores.  Or, at least, one retail store: J&R located on Park Row in New York, NY.  That according to Byron Connell, Tapwave's Sr VP of Marketing.  In an email sent to me at approximately 7pm on Thursday, June 17th, he states excitedly, "Today is officially our first day in retail! Product is now in store at J&R!" (notice the exclamation points - two of them even).

As we previously reported, despite all the buzz about CompUSA carrying the Zodiac, J&R was already the first online store (other than Tapwave.com) to offer the Zodiac for sale.  CompUSA.com is listing the Zodiac in its inventory, but it's not available for sale just yet.  Brick and mortar CompUSA stores are expected to feature the Zodiac, complete with fancy-shmancy dedicated shelf space, next week (Thursday, June 24th, to be exact).

So if you've been on the fence about getting a Zodiac and didn't feel comfortable buying one sight unseen (and you happen to live in NYC) run, don't walk, to J&R.

And just to make things interesting, I'll even start a little contest which will allow you to save some money off of your brand new Zodiac purchase.  All you need to do is send me (via scott at tapland.com) a photo containing all of the following elements:

1) Yourself holding your newly purchased Zodiac in its all new box design.
2) Any one of the following:
  • A J&R store employee.  Or,

  • The fancy-shmancy Zodiac in-store display.  Or,

  • The outside of the J&R building with the J&R sign in full view.

The first person to do so will get $30 cash money.  The 2nd and 3rd people to do it will get $10 each.  Everyone after that gets nothing from me, but hey, you'll still have an awfully swell Zodiac console to play with, right?

So as to minimize creative but fraudulent entries, this contest will end at 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, June 22nd.

Update:
There's an official press release on Business Wire now.  Nothing overly exciting, though it does reference Duke Nukem hitting retail shelves "in a few weeks."  That sounds familiar.  Also due in those legendary few weeks are the travel charger and a new leather case.  I'm wondering if this will be an all-new design or a rebranding of the Brando case we reviewed a while back.

This press release also reminds me that I need to send Tapwave a friendly note telling them that their "work hard and play even harder" slogan comes dangerously close to infringing on Tapland's "work smarter. play harder." slogan.
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