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Nokia unveils new N-Gage

Old 04-14-04, 12:45 AM
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Nokia unveils new N-Gage

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/04...s_6093447.html

Nokia unveils new $99 N-Gage

N-Gage QD drops MP3, triband phone support in favor of a cheaper, more usable device.


Nokia has announced plans to deliver a redesigned version of its N-Gage gaming cell-phone. The new model, the N-Gage QD, has been built to address many of the design problems that plagued the original release.

"There was some very specific feedback that got us focused on making changes to the device," Nada Usina told GameSpot today. Usina, General Manager of Entertainment & Media, North & South America, said the new model "addresses some of the mental barriers" that impeded acceptance of the device among the core group of active gamers Nokia originally targeted.

The first generation N-Gage required you to remove the back cover and the battery simply to change a game. The QD streamlines this process by moving the MMC slot to the outside--sliding a game card into the slot will auto-launch the game. The D pad and buttons have been redesigned a bit, as well. The most noticeable control change is that the D pad no longer also functions as a button if you push it all the way in. That button has been moved to its own spot, directly to the right of the D pad.

The screen, while still vertically oriented, has a much cleaner look to it than the old N-Gage's screen, resulting in slightly sharper visuals. Finally, the QD's speaker and microphone are on the front of the unit instead of on the side, allowing phone users to speak into the device normally, as opposed to the classic N-Gage's side-talking configuration.

Usina warranted Nokia has having reacted "relatively quickly" to what was arguably uniform resistance to the original device. On the eve of the launch, Usina said that Nokia and the QD team were intent on making this upcoming launch more successful that last October's dismal first step in to the core gaming marketplace. She said Nokia intended to "spend as much time as possible educating and being educated."

Usina declined to specify the extent of product and user testing that went in to the redesigned unit, nor would she comment on the costs allocated to such pre-release research, but she did admit that research was much more extensive than what went into the product's first launch. She added that the relaunch "had the highest level of management attention" among top-level Nokia staff.
(more)
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Old 04-14-04, 01:01 AM
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Old 04-14-04, 01:14 AM
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Well, that design looks better, I guess... couldn't be much worse. It seems like they should just put the whole concept to rest though. The original N-gage was an instant punchline, and no matter how many redesigns it goes through, consumers will always associate it with the bombing it took last year. Hell, if they took an SP, and slapped a sticker saying "N-Gage" on it, people tstill wouldn't buy it
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Old 04-14-04, 02:41 AM
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Next up a redesigned Virtual Boy!
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Old 04-14-04, 05:07 AM
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You can paint it, dress it and color it however you like, it's still not going to sell because it's total and utter CRAP!
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Old 04-14-04, 06:04 AM
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no side takin'=no buy!
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Old 04-14-04, 07:24 AM
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I actually kind of like the redesign (puts on flame jacket). That doesn't mean that I'm going to buy one, but for $99 if someone needed a new phone, why not. They took out the useless FM radio, and MP3 player and uped battery life. Although most of the games are crap, it's at the same price point of any other color cell phone these days. Plus Activision just announced a Call of Duty release for N-Gage later this year. It could be promising.
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Old 04-14-04, 07:42 AM
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Okay, so they drop the phone support, why are there still over a dozen buttons? i.e. the numberpad.
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Old 04-14-04, 07:56 AM
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It's still a phone. It just doesn't have triband support.

Originally posted by Michael Corvin
Okay, so they drop the phone support, why are there still over a dozen buttons? i.e. the numberpad.
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Old 04-14-04, 08:09 AM
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New design looks slick. Much better..

Now.. if they'd focus on getting some at least DECENT games running on the system.
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Old 04-14-04, 08:15 AM
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If every game for the system asks the user to "press start" you damn well better have a start button by the second redesign of the system.
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Old 04-14-04, 10:57 AM
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For $199? Count me in, again!

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Old 04-14-04, 11:36 AM
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Old 04-14-04, 11:44 AM
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I have the original N-Gage and bought it primarily for phone use - I love the speakerphone feature!

Playing games on it was just icing on the cake.

Reception on this phone is SO MUCH better than my Ericsson T68.

If this comes out at $99 with some promotion with AT&T, then i'm all over it.
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Old 04-14-04, 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by juanmgonzalez

Reception on this phone is SO MUCH better than my Ericsson T68.

That's not saying much, the T68's are garbage.
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Old 04-14-04, 12:17 PM
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Well... they should've dropped all phone support and just put out a game-only handheld for really cheap. They're gonna be in real big trouble when the PSP comes out... as if they aren't in big enough trouble to begin with.
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Old 04-14-04, 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by juanmgonzalez
I have the original N-Gage and bought it primarily for phone use - I love the speakerphone feature!

Playing games on it was just icing on the cake.

Reception on this phone is SO MUCH better than my Ericsson T68.

If this comes out at $99 with some promotion with AT&T, then i'm all over it.
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Old 04-14-04, 01:25 PM
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Oops! Looks like the screen is still the wrong way around...
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Old 04-14-04, 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by cheapskate
Oops! Looks like the screen is still the wrong way around...
The screen is the RIGHT way for classic arcade games and shooters.
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Old 04-14-04, 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by PixyJunket
The screen is the RIGHT way for classic arcade games and shooters.
Which make up approximately 0-5% of the N-Gage library!
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Old 04-14-04, 02:41 PM
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How many games are required in order for it to be considered a library? Isn't this their entire lineup - according to their site?

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon™: Jungle Storm
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
Moto GP
Super Monkey Ball
Pandemonium
Crash Nitro Kart
Tomb Raider
Sega Rally Championship
Red Faction
Pocket Kingdom: Own The World
NCAA Football 2004
MLB Slam!
Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer
FIFA Soccer 2004
Virtua Tennis
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Team Stealth Action
Sonic N
Requiem of Hell
Rayman 3
Puzzle Bobble VS
Puyo Pop
Operation Shadow
Alien Front
Ashen
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004
The Sims Bustin' Out
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Old 04-14-04, 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by Trigger
How many games are required in order for it to be considered a library?
Not sure... at least 3.

Impressive though... as far as selection goes, they're creeping up on Atari Jaguar standards!
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Old 04-14-04, 03:02 PM
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I think there's more, ebgames lists 40 titles, but some are pre-played, so there might be some duplicates.
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Old 04-14-04, 03:23 PM
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Doesn't seem that bad to me. The first N-Gage was crap, this one looks a lot more practical.
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Old 04-14-04, 08:44 PM
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I'm still amazed that the previous design got through focus group testing. Remove the battery to change the game?! Talk into the side? !
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