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N-Gage QD - Nokia's Answer To The Critics?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the straight-talking dept.

Portables (Games) 249

JayBonci writes "According to CNET News, Nokia is preparing the N-Gage QD for release at the end of June. The redesign is an attempt to address design criticisms; such as 'side-talking' and the need to take out the battery to replace the game. Will this signal new life for the console, or is it too little, too late?" We linked to leaked pictures of the N-Gage follow-up late last week on Slashdot Games, and there's further information at GameSpot, which mentions: "When bundled with a service contract, the QD is expected to sell for $99. Without subsidy from a service provider, the phone will go for $199 (with the platform's Tony Hawk title bundled in at that price)."

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249 comments

formula for disaster (-1, Troll)

VAXGeek (3443) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857376)

medicore phone + medicore gaming platform = ngage

Re:formula for disaster (-1, Redundant)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857412)

mediocre comment + mediocre spelling = first post.

Re:formula for disaster (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857472)

0.1 First Impressions

First impressions are important. The handshake, the smile, here's our brochure, would you like a cup of tea?

Microsoft's Windows family of operating systems makes good first impressions. There's a pleasant sound at start-up, all of the basics are represented by simple icons, and everything else is available through a neatly categorized menu. ...we use only the finest baby frogs,
dew-picked and flown from Iraq,
cleansed in the finest quality spring
water, lightly killed, and sealed in
a succulent, Swiss, quintuple-smooth,
treble-milk chocolate envelope, and
lovingly frosted with glucose.
-- Whizzo Chocolate Sketch,
Monty Python's Flying Circus

As the relationship progresses, however, it becomes clear that there is a lot going on beneath the candy-coated surface. This is particularly true of the CIFS protocol suite. The Network Neighborhood icon that appears on the Windows desktop hides a great deal of gear-churning and behind-the-scenes fussing.

The large installed base of Microsoft's Windows products has granted de facto standard status to CIFS. Unfortunately, implementation documentation and detailed protocol specifications are scarce, incomplete, and inconsistent. This is a problem for network administrators, third-party CIFS implementors, and anyone else who wants to know more about the ingredients than is described on the bottom of the box.

Despite the dearth of good under-the-hood documentation, there are several non-Windows CIFS products. Some of these are based on older versions of Microsoft's own software, but the majority were created by studying the few available references and reverse-engineering to fill in the gaps.
0.2 What is CIFS?

It's a dessert topping!
It's a floor wax!
-- Saturday Night Live

CIFS is a network filesystem plus a set of auxiliary services supported by a bunch of underlying protocols. Any and all of these various bits have been called CIFS, which leaves us with a somewhat muddy definition. To make things easier, we'll start by saying that CIFS is "Microsoft's way of doing network file sharing", and work out the details as we go on.

The name "CIFS", of course, is an acronym. It stands for Common Internet File System, a title which deserves a bit of dissection:

What's in a name?
A rose by any other name
would wither and die.
-- Alan Swann
(Peter O'Toole),
My Favorite Year
Common

The term has a variety of connotations, but we will assume that Microsoft was thinking of common in the sense of commonly available or commonly used. All MS operating systems have had some form of CIFS networking available or built in, and there are implementations of CIFS for most major non-MS operating systems as well.

Unfortunately, there is not yet a specification for CIFS that is complete, correct, authoritative, and freely available. Microsoft defines CIFS by their implementations and, as we shall see, their attempts at documenting the complete suite have been somewhat random. This has an adverse impact on the commonality of the system.
Internet

At the time that the "CIFS" name was coined many people felt that Microsoft was late to the table regarding the exploitation of the Internet. As will be described further on, the naming scheme they used back then (based on a piece of older LAN technology known as NetBIOS) doesn't scale to large networks--certainly not the Internet. The idea that CIFS would become an Internet standard probably came out of the work that was being done to redesign Microsoft's networking products for Windows NT5 (now known as Windows2000 or W2K). Under W2K, CIFS can use the Domain Name System (DNS) for name resolution.
File System

CIFS allows the sharing of directories, files, printers, and other cool computer stuff across a network. That's the filesystem part. To make use of these shared resources you need to be able to find & identify them, and you also need to control access so that unauthorized folk won't fiddle where they shouldn't. This means that there is a hefty amount of administrivia to be managed, so CIFS file sharing comes surrounded by an entourage. There are protocols for service announcement, naming, authentication, and authorization. These are separate, but intertwined. Some are based on published standards, others are not, and most have changed over the years.
0.2.1 A Recipe for Protocol Soup

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
-- Macbeth, Act IV, Scene i,
William Shakespeare

The filesharing protocol at the heart of CIFS is an updated version of the venerable Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which dates back to the mid-1980s. The new name first appeared around 1996/97 when Microsoft submitted draft CIFS specifications to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Those drafts have since expired, and more recent documentation made available by Microsoft comes encumbered with confusing (and pointless) licensing requirements.

The SMB protocol was originally developed to run over NetBIOS (Network Basic Input Output System) LANs. This is a nasty little skeleton in the CIFS closet. Until W2K, NetBIOS support was required for SMB transport. The machine and service names visible in the Windows "Network Neighborhood" are, basically, NetBIOS addresses.

With Windows 3.11 (Windows for Workgroups), Microsoft introduced a service announcement and location system called the Browse Service. This service maintains the list of available file and print services that is presented via the Network Neighborhood (named "My Network Places" in newer Windows products). Also with Windows 3.11 Microsoft introduced the "workgroup" concept. Workgroups simplified network management by organizing servers and services into administrative groups. Microsoft expanded upon the Workgroup concept under Windows NT to create NT Domains1.

As if that were not enough, there are also several SMB "dialects". These correspond roughly to major OS product releases or updates from Microsoft, and each adds extensions to the core SMB protocol. In their IETF CIFS draft, Microsoft presented an SMB dialect that was independent of NetBIOS, and W2K does include such a beast. As part of the split with NetBIOS, W2K also offers new name resolution, service announcement, authentication, and authorization mechanisms--all based, more or less, upon Internet standards.

Don't worry. Like most complex problems, this can all be understood by breaking it down into little pieces and studying each one in turn. The whole is not so terrible once you understand the parts.
0.3 The CIFS Community

Microsoft's implementations are the de facto CIFS standards. This is no surprise, as the SMB protocol was originally developed by IBM, Microsoft, Intel, and 3Com specifically for MS-DOS and PC-DOS. It is Microsoft's current massive dominance in the desktop world, however, that makes the CIFS marketplace worthwhile. Several companies earn their money by selling CIFS client and server software, or fileserver hardware with CIFS support. Without complete documentation, these third-party vendors might be forced to rely only on their own reverse-engineering or on licensed derivations of Microsoft's own implementations. This would reduce the "commonality" of CIFS and, given Microsoft's dominant market share, could have a negative impact on competitors' ability to compete.

Fortunately, there is a lot of communication within the CIFS community. There is also a renegade band of coders known as the Samba Team. Since 1991, they have been gathering information and implementing their own CIFS server, called Samba. (Note that the letters s, m, and b appear in sequence in the Samba name. Cool, eh?) Samba is published as Open Source under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Samba Team members typically share what they learn, and have even been known to write a little documentation now and again. Samba is included with most distributions of Linux, and several commercial Unix flavors as well.

Samba has generated a few related projects, including SMB client filesystems for Linux, AmigaOS, and other platforms. There is also Richard Sharpe's libsmbclient, the Samba-TNG project, the jCIFS project, and this book.
0.3.1 Visiting the Network Neighborhood

On most days, members of the CIFS community can be found hanging out on Microsoft's CIFS mailing list, the Samba-Technical mailing list, or the jCIFS mailing list. In addition to these virtual geek cafés there is the mostly-annual CIFS conference. In the past it has been sponsored by such luminary organizations as EMC, Microsoft, Network Appliance, SCO, and the Storage Networking Industry Association. The conference provides an opportunity for CIFS developers to meet each other face-to-face, swap stories, whine, and (best of all) test their products with & against everyone else's. If you are serious about implementing CIFS, we'll see you there.

Service Network GmbH is the primary sponsor of yet another conference of interest. The first Samba eXPerience (aka Samba-XP) was held in Göttingen, Germany, in April of 2002. It was very successful, and has become an annual event. While it is specific to Samba and related Open Source implementations (Samba-TNG, jCIFS, etc.), the information exchanged is valuable to anyone interested in CIFS networking.
0.3.2 Community Collaborations

It should also be noted that an effort, organized at one of the CIFS conferences and lead by the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA), has been underway within the CIFS community to draft an "open" CIFS reference with input from many interested parties. Version 1.0 of the SNIA CIFS Technical Reference has been released and is available on the SNIA web site. For more information, poke around the SNIA CIFS Working Group web pages.
0.4 Audience

This book is aimed at developers who want to add CIFS compatibility to their products. It will also be very helpful to network and system administrators who need to understand the curious things that CIFS does on the wire, in the server, and at the desktop. In addition, there is empirical evidence which suggests that the Internet security community (both the light and the dark sides) is keenly interested in the (mis)behavior of the CIFS suite. This is a technical book, and knowledge of programming and TCP/IP networking is assumed. The protocol descriptions, however, start with the basics and build up, so very little previous knowledge of CIFS is expected.

For the programmer, there are several code examples. They have all been tested under Debian GNU/Linux, but you may need to do a little work to get them to run elsewhere. The code is intended to be illustrative rather than functional. It works, but it is not production-quality. That's okay, since part of the purpose of this book is to help you write your own code--if that's where your interests lie. If you don't care about source code you can safely skip much of it. Those who do like source can find additional examples at http://ubiqx.org/libcifs/.

The restriction of knowledge
to an elite group destroys the
spirit of society and leads to
its intellectual impoverishment.
-- Albert Einstein

A certain amount of SMB/CIFS protocol information has been available since the early days, but finding the important bits typically involves digging through detailed technical references, protocol specifications, packet dumps, web pages, whitepapers, source code, and mailing list archives. That's a lot of work, and a nuisance, and annoying. As a result, CIFS development has become an arcane art practiced by an elite few... and that's a darned shame.

This book attempts to solve this problem by selectively digging through the muck and presenting the uncovered gems in a coherent form, thus making the CIFS suite more accessible to more people.
0.5 Scope

Our focus is on the inner workings of CIFS filesharing, particularly the client side. Through necessity (and a macabre sense of fascination) we will also cover NetBIOS LAN emulation over TCP/IP, basic SMB authentication, and browsing. We will delicately dance around the NT Domain system and CIFS for W2K. These are much bigger & hairier, and deserve their own books2.

The book is separated into three main sections:

1. NBT: NetBIOS over TCP/IP
This section covers the NBT protocol, which is an implementation of the NetBIOS API on top of TCP/IP. NBT is necessary for communicating with older CIFS servers and clients.

2. SMB: The Server Message Block Protocol
Section 2 covers SMB, the filesharing protocol at the core of CIFS. This section also covers authentication.

3. Browsing: Advertising Services
The Browser Service is built on top of NBT and SMB, and is used to distribute information about the SMB fileservers available on the network.

Following these three sections are appendices, a glossary, references for further reading, and an index. All the good stuff you would expect in such a book.
0.6 Acknowledgements and Thanks

The investigation of CIFS is a forensic art. This book is an attempt to coalesce the knowledge gathered by the CIFS community and present it in a useful form. My thanks go to the Samba Team, particularly Andrew Tridgell who started the Samba project and suggested that I start the jCIFS project. Thanks are also due to the jCIFS Team for raising--and often answering--so many good questions. Particular thanks go to Michael B. Allen for churning out so much working code.

Acknowledgements also go to the folks on the Samba-Technical mailing list, the Samba-TNG mailing list, Microsoft's CIFS mailing list, and the folks at Microsoft who were able to provide insights into the workings of CIFS.

I could be happy the rest of my life
with a cinnamon girl.
-- Cinnamon Girl, Neil Young

Writing documentation of this sort is a lengthy and annoying process. Special thanks go to the believers: Rachel, Aled, and Amalia; and also to the four-legs: Neko, Marika, Bran, and Maddie.

Additional notes of praise and recognition (in no particular order) to David Hirsch, Jeanne Dzurenko, Judy Diebel, Paul Nelis, Virginia Norton, Dave Farmer, John Ladwig, Susan Levy Haskell, Tim Howling, Olaf Barthel, Amy Gavel, Stephanie Cohen, Andrew Bartlett, Prairie Barnes, Chris Yerkes, James Carey, and Tom Barron.

The majority of the diagrams in this book were produced using the Dia diagram editor. The document was originally created as 100% hand-crafted & W3C-validated HTML, entered using a simple text editor. Document source management by CVS.
0.6.1 The Book

Implementing CIFS is also available in printed book form from Prentice Hall.

Thanks to Mark Taub for believing that I could turn my online ramblings into an honest-to-goodness book, and to Jill Harry for being the boss and gently but firmly guiding me through the process. Thanks also to Bruce Perens for including my book as part of his series, and to all the folks at Prentice Hall who helped to make this dream a reality.

The book was raked over the coals for technical correctness by Andrew Bartlett and Jerry Carter, both of the Samba Team and both nearly as pedantic as I am. They deserve a lot of credit for the good stuff that is contained herein (the bugs are my fault).

The original HTML source was skillfully converted to publisher-ready form by Alina Kirsanova, and then carefully copy-edited by Dmitry Kirsanov. They did excellent work. Any errors in grammar or formatting which remain are probably the result of my being a prima donna and insisting on having my own way.
0.7 About the Author

You are a cornflakes-vert.
-- Something my friend Kathy said
to me in High School (and I still
don't get it).

Christopher R. Hertel is one of those guys in the bright orange vests who lean up against a shovel in the construction zones along the Information Superhighway. By day, he is a Network Design Engineer at the University of Minnesota. He is also a member of the Samba Team, a founding member of the jCIFS Team, and an inconsistently average foil fencer. Most important of all, he is a full-time dad and husband.
0.7.1 Quick Story

A few years back I was interviewing for a job that I really thought I wanted. During the technical interview, I was asked "Is NetBEUI routable?" My head was full of protocol specs and packet headers, and I got a little flustered. I confused NetBEUI with the general idea of encapsulated NetBIOS. Of course I gave the wrong answer, and I did not get the job.

They say success is the sweetest and most honest form of revenge.
0.8 About the Cover Art

From the book...

On June 28, 1778, two years after American Independence had been declared, a young woman made her way through the sweltering heat of a Revolutionary battlefield carrying pitchers of water to heat-weakened men. Mary Ludwig Hays--Molly Pitcher, as she was called--looked up to see that one of the men who had fallen from heatstroke was her own husband, John. She resolutely made her way to his cannon just as an officer was preparing to order it retired for want of a gunner. Setting down her pitchers, Molly picked up the ramrod and took her husband's place at the muzzle.

The story of the woman gunner was told and retold by the soldiers of the Revolution, and Molly Pitcher became a legend around battlefield campfires. She came to symbolize all of the women who took up arms for American Independence.

During the war, General George Washington made Mary Hays a sergeant, and afterward she was pensioned as a lieutenant by the Continental Army. Mary Hays lived into her 70s and is buried in Carlisle, PA.

Amy J. Gavel, Esq.
July, 2003

0.9 Foreword

From the book...

Writing a book is hard--writing a good book is very hard, and describing an area as complex as CIFS is a nightmare. The biggest pleasure of being involved with the production of this reference is in the clarity and depth of the end result--the impossible has been achieved, for the benefit of all involved in this protocol.

CIFS is an important protocol--indeed, in Windows networks it could be considered as important as TCP/IP, as almost all communication between Windows machines can flow over it. It provides file and print services, and, among other things, is a carrier for Remote Procedure Call and NT Domain services. When I came to CIFS in 2001, it was out of an interest in the Samba project--an Open Source implementation that I was running on Linux--where I soon became a specialist in Authentication. At the time, there was little good documentation available, particularly on the murky details of authentication.

For that reason, you will find my name scattered all over the Authentication area of this book. As a developer of a CIFS implementation, there are many things that I now know--and needed to know then--that were never clearly written down. Too often, the only reference on some functionality was the C code that implemented it--and the implicit hope that comments vaguely represented reality. I personally spent many hours inspecting the publicly available sources of Samba and Samba-TNG, in the hope of gleaning some extra understanding, some critical detail.

My role in this book was one of many willing victims--exposing all I knew about CIFS, realising how little we had all actually proved, and how much we just assumed. Chris' role was that of interrogator--asking all the difficult questions, and forcing us all to re-evaluate. The end result was a lot of testing, experimentation, and analysis, but also the solid research foundation behind this massive effort.

My hope is that with this book, future developers will no longer be required to pore over cryptic standards drafts--or badly commented C code--to understand the big picture into which their software sits.

More remarkably however, Implementing CIFS provides a solid technical reference on the protocol as a whole--between the standardese of the SNIA Technical Reference included as an appendix and the clear English of Chris' own chapters is a wealth of technical information that aids even the most experienced developer.

Beyond that, by creating such readable documentation, Implementing CIFS allows more than blind faith in vendors words--CIFS is now assessable to network administrators and other non-programmers who can understand for themselves how this protocol works (and how it doesn't).

By leading readers though the creation of his own basic CIFS client, Chris Hertel ensures that readers have a solid background in the basics--and can continue on to implementing the rest of the protocol sure of their foundations.

I've very much enjoyed working with Chris Hertel on Implementing CIFS--finally, I could see a description of this protocol that mere mortals could not only understand, but also enjoy!

Andrew Bartlett
Samba Team
Canberra, Australia
June 2003

0.10 License

Code examples are licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. This allows you to build libraries from the licensed code and use those libraries with your own code, even if your code is proprietary. The library source code, however, must be made available if you distribute your product. See the LGPL for details.

This document, collectively titled Implementing CIFS, is copyright © 1999-2003 by Christopher R. Hertel. This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later. (The latest version of the Open Publication License is available at http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/.)

The quotations in the left-hand margin of the web pages are not under my copyright, and so are not under the OPL.

The book has been published in paper form by Prentice-Hall PTR.

1 The terms "NT Domain" and "W2K Domain" will be used to distinguish Microsoft's authentication/authorization domains from Domain Name System (DNS) domains.

2 ...and if we find any such books, we will list them in the References section.

Copyright © 1999-2003 Christopher R. Hertel
All rights reserved. $Revision: 1.32 $

Re:formula for disaster (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857568)

puritanical beliefs + righteousness = America

Re:formula for disaster (-1, Flamebait)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857732)

Egotism + Stereotyping = Eurpoean

Re:formula for disaster (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857769)

Gay + Homo = John Courtland

Re:formula for disaster (2, Funny)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857646)

Don't be so harsh on the NGAGE man! It combines the Video Gaming possibilities of an ordinary phone with the reception and sound quality of a 1980's Gameboy! I hear it's like talking into a taco!

Re:formula for disaster (5, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857678)

I hear it's like talking into a taco!

Women listen best when you talk "into the taco".

Trust me.

LK

QD (5, Funny)

Slashdot Hivemind (763065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857377)

Quiet Death

Not with a bang but a whimper etc etc

Re:QD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857538)

Qing Dynasty

The last imperial dynasty of China from 1644 to 1912.

Re:QD (3, Informative)

ozbird (127571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857623)

Not with a bang but a whimper etc etc

It's a Nokia, so it may well go off with a bang [abc.net.au] .

Re:QD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857708)

Shut up! See what you've done? Mike Hawk is crying in the corner because of you!

I demand a retraction.

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857378)

The day is mine!

hot blonde w/ tight wet pussy looking for unix guy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857379)

respond to this message if interested... k thx bye

Re:hot blonde w/ tight wet pussy looking for unix (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857391)

students.washington.edu/alfador/private/027-Conifu r2003.jpg
^My pic, I am typical Unix fan
OMG hi2u

Re:hot blonde w/ tight wet pussy looking for unix (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857517)

It's true!!! U Unix guys are cute!!!

WARNING, DON'T VISIT URL (-1, Offtopic)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857520)

It's a picture of STEVE BALLMER!!! *shudder*

Usually, I look down upon anti-fur trolls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857524)

but this guy had it coming to him. Even though it's under his *private* directory...

Holy shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857673)

That is so fucking funny! Check out the .zip files in the parent directory. The freak even made a furry Alpha Centauri faction.

Gamefaqs joke... (-1, Offtopic)

faeryman (191366) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857385)

I would have gotten first post, but I didn't...cause I bought an N-Gage!

Re:Gamefaqs joke... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857404)

CRAP FAD'D

Re:Gamefaqs joke... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857663)

On my way home from the bar, and after I dropped off this guy I met there (he was drunk and I figured he needed a ride home because he didn't remember anything), I figured I'd stop by this party I'd heard about, being held by FaeryMan at his pad.

My shirt was ruined, as the guy had vomited all over me at a few different points, so I took it off and threw it out the window, and just put on my black leather biking jacket as I neared FaeryMan's driveway. The smell of the leather mixed with my own sweat and put me into a good mood as I pulled onto FaeryMan's yard. I was ready for a party, and knowing my fellow trolls would be there, the two cases of cheap, illegally imported Mexican beer in my back seat looked all the better in my rearview mirror. So did the illegally imported Mexican immigrant.

Upon knocking on FaeryMan's front door, it fell over with a thud and a human groan. After I walked over the door and came inside, I looked and saw that none other than Signal 11 was crushed underneath. I promptly backed up a few paces back onto the door so I could see all who were there.

In the corner, at a table, were Troll Mastah and 1St P0St Tr0LL KinG, playing War. Troll Mastah was singing songs loudly that (I assumed) he was making up as he went along. 1St P0St Tr0LL KinG was trying to shut him up and talk to him about socio-political circumstances that lead to trolling. Troll Mastah wouldn't have any of that, though, and after belting out the last verse of something sung to the tune of Michael Jackson's Dirty Diana, he barfed all over 1St P0St Tr0LL KinG's cards. I don't think 1St P0St Tr0LL KinG cared. He barfed right afterward all over Signal 11, who had crawled out from under the fallen door and to the table, in what I guessed was an attempt at finding shelter for his bruised, alcohol-poisoned body.

Anyway, FaeryMan soon approached me and took the beer off my hands (which I never saw again...) and asked how I was doing. "What the Hell is Signal 11 doing here!?' I blurted. Knowing that every true troll hates Signal 11, there had to be some good good reason he was partying with the likes of us.

"Well Gnarphlager and Bruce Perens. [note the period] thought it would be a good idea to 'have a little fun' at the party tonight. And since Signal 11's ego blinds him from the most clever of our attacks against him, it was easy to convince him that this party was being held in his honor," FaeryMan explained. "We told him Hemos would be here, and that was it. He said he'd be here, muttered about 'Spanish Fly' or something to someone in the background, and hung up the phone," he continued. "Once he was here it only took him a half hour to get drunk."

To never be continued...

Too little, far too late (2, Insightful)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857389)

There was almost no interest in the N-Gage due to inflated prices, poor design, demand miscalcualtion (hardly anyone was actually looking to buy such a device), and corny marketing. Removing the idiotic features won't help this late in the game.

Re:Too little, far too late (5, Interesting)

Wellmont (737226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857435)

I've tested the new Nokia models, and was privey to the designs that they went through...although the interface is till "confussing" to quote one tester, their new design is a drastic step over the old design.

One problem is the fact that they are treading into an area where actual console producers, such as nintendo, would love to smash them in. They could go for another year or two and finally perfect the technology but Nintendo is known for success late in the game, and doing it cheaply.

Nokia doesn't understand yet that their production and licensing is draining their investments and at the same time Giants who specialize in the field of gaming are looking at similar and alternative investments in the field of Mobile gaming....including microsoft. (keep that on the hush hush)

Re:Too little, far too late (1)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857644)

"including microsoft. (keep that on the hush hush)" OK... just between you and me... I won't say a word.

Michael Sims is a lying scumbag (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857475)

Just in case you'd forgotten or anything.

Re:Michael Sims is a lying scumbag (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857714)

that -1 flamebait mod just goes to prove what a lot of people already know about what happens to anyone who criticizes him. SLASHDOT: Where freedom of expression is 100% illusion.

Re:Too little, far too late (5, Insightful)

thesaur (681425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857679)

I disagree. Nokia is well known in Europe for their innovations, and they've been targeting young consumers (i.e., pre-teens and teenagers). This revision of the N-Gage may just be the ticket to getting young people to buy it.

It's amazing how often young people I know get new phones. All it takes is for one kid in the school to get it and think it's cool. Then the hundreds of others will "need" it. That's the way cell phone marketing works over here, and I think it's very compatible with the N-Gage.

Though you might think otherwise, the main thing young people use the phones for is games and sending SMS's. Calling each other is too expensive. And Nokia is well aware of that fact.

Another thing is the price factor. If, as has been stated, it retails for $199 without a service contract, it will be available in Europe probably for 1 EUR with a 24-month contract. That's a decent price, and very afordable for the young. I know many who regularly pay 100 EUR to buy phones on ebay. The phones are usually worth about 300 EUR.

If Nokia is smart (and I think they are), they'll have easy access to this huge market. If not with this revision, with the next.

Finally! (2, Interesting)

illumen (718958) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857402)

This should go quite well.

As now there a few decent games for it(and some experienced developers), it's cheapish, and actually usable.

I just hope it is compatible with the old games.

Have fun!
http://www.holepit.com/ [holepit.com]

Re:Finally! (3, Informative)

jayzee (734710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857477)

I just hope it is compatible with the old games.

According to a followup to the original 'leaked images' post [ngagegaming.com] "All games will be compatible with both versions of the N-Gage, however"

They also say no MP3 player or radio in the new version.

Re:Finally! (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857711)

No MP3 player?

Wow. I'd have thought they'd have run out of bullets from shooting themselves in the foot with the first gen product. I stand corrected.

No MP3 player?! (1)

thesaur (681425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857787)

Wow! Many young people use their phones for that purpose. MP3 ringtones, anyone? And that's why certain models are more popular among than others. Especially if they have at least 32MB of memory.

Really stupid move on Nokia's part, but then... I'm sure an MP3 player will be available for download sometime, so we'll see how it goes. And anyway, they can always offer that in a firmware update.

So don't count Nokia out yet...

Re:Finally! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857553)

This should go quite well.

yeah! like a fox!

Good Ideas 101 (5, Funny)

PretzelBat (770907) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857405)

The NGage has "been redesigned for more comfortable use as a cell phone."

Wait!--they are going to make their cell phone/game system a functional phone? What a great idea.

Oh--they're also going to make it usable as a gaming device? You don't even have to take out the battery to change games anymore?

This thing is going to be awesome.

I bet someone in R&D is getting a big bonus for these ideas.

Re:Good Ideas 101 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857526)

I bet someone in R&D is getting a big bonus for these ideas.

Stop blowing your own trumpet.

Dudes! They can't take away my sidetalkin'! (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857410)

I mean, I'm like totally sidetalkin' [sidetalkin.com] , and this bums me out.

Re:Dudes! They can't take away my sidetalkin'! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857733)

Anyone else think sidetalking.com is a site started by Nintendo intented to hurt the image, and by extension sales, of N-Gage? You can't fight over market like this with press releases, so they start this low-key site and let it all take care of itself. It's bloody brilliant.

Hell there must be big money behind the site, it's loaded with pictures but has no problems with slashdotting.

Re:Dudes! They can't take away my sidetalkin'! (1)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857846)

Who cares who was funding it? That site is hilarious, and side talking is stupid. Side talking would still be stupid even if that site did not exist.

Looks fine to me. (-1, Redundant)

BFaucet (635036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857418)

It doesn't look bad to me...
Though I have no idea how playable the games are.

My biggest turn-offs were in the design flaws... that they have apparently fixed.

Am I missing something?

Re:Looks fine to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857428)

Am I missing something?

Well, the games still suck

Re:Looks fine to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857580)

Am I missing something?

Yes! A brain. Think before you post!

alright. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857420)

YEAH~!!!! post #12 you mother FUCKERS!!!!

No talking taco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857422)

means I'll at least consider it.

You have got to wonder... (0, Insightful)

m1chael (636773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857424)

how the first one managed to see daylight. Don't they test it with humans before release? Anyhoo, at the moment I don't see the next Gameboy or PSP so maybe this might work. I bet those people who got the first one are hoping for some kind of rebate ;P Are there people who bought it?

Re:You have got to wonder... (2, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857593)

The parent is not insightful. The original N-Gage is a very nice peice of kit. For example: I notice nobody ever complained about how thick it is. Few, if any, people complained that the controls were worse for gaming than any other phone one the market.

Given that the new one is losing Tri-band (a must for international travellers) and the FM radio (also handy for travellers and others), I'm particularly content with mine. Meanwhile, if the updated model provokes a few more games releases, well that's great to.

Re:You have got to wonder... (1)

m1chael (636773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857680)

You do bring up some valid points, like the thickness is alot and the controls are average. But it's nice to see some good points about them.

N-Gage: It's really good at radio.

WHAT??!?!? (-1, Redundant)

rickst13 (723165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857444)

omg omg omg. That better not ruin the totally new hip sidetalkin [sidetalkin.com] style!!!!!!!111oneone

Convergent products (4, Interesting)

theRG (770574) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857446)

I was in Hong Kong for business recently and noticed that everyone (well about 75% of the population) was wearing earphones attached to either cellphones, flash-based MP3 players, or cellphones playing MP3s. I think there really is a huge market for combining things that people want into small packages. Just look at how ubiquitous camera phones are becoming. Hopefully the new N-Gage will be more successful.

Re:Convergent products (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857763)

I think there really is a huge market for combining things that people want into small packages.

No, that's just Hong Kong. Every once in a while you discover a place that is so immersed in consumer materialism that it makes even Madison Avenue blush. Hong Kong is one of those places.

It's too little, too late. (3, Interesting)

Delphix (571159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857455)

The N-gage was doomed from the beginning. If the system was really that well received, then a minor overhaul might fix it. But smoothing design flaws like having to remove the battery to change the game doesn't fix the core problem.

The Gameboy. Perhaps problem is the wrong word. The Gameboy is awesome at what it does. It's a handheld video game console. It's not a bastardized cell phone pretending to be something it's not. It does one thing and it does it very very well. It's hard to unseat a product like that.

The downfall of hybridizing products like this is two fold. You're targeting two different customers. One's who want a badass cellphone and will occasionally buy games. They're not hardcore gamers, they're just looking for diversion from time to time. You're not going to sell massive amounts of carts to them. Then you have the other type of customer: the ones who don't need a cell phone, don't want to change their current cell phone, or can't get a cellphone. Children fall into that latter category. People/Parents aren't going to buy the thing just to play games on and ignore it's functionality as a cellphone.

There are two ways Nokia could have pulled it off. They could have either hooked up with Nintendo and sold a phone that also played Gameboy Advance games. Thus they'd have a huge library of games, and both audiences are tailored two. Or if they really wanted to compete, they should have created a standalone console that wasn't tied to the cell phone.

I'm a good example. I've got a Gameboy Advance and it's great. I've also got a Motorola v120 that I love. I'm not going to trade up my favorite cellphone just for another portable. Now, if it played GBA, I'd be tempted. I don't often carry my GBA with me, except on travel, but I always have my cell phone. If it played GBA games they might stand a chance of convincing me. Or if they had badass games, they could probably convince me to buy a stand alone unit. But as it stands, their hybridization model just isn't appealing. And they don't really have any titles that are must haves... That's just not a formula for success.

Sony may have something though with the PSP though. If they or Nintendo tried to do a hybrid with a cell phone, they'd probably do alright.

Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857482)

This is a repost

Re:It's too little, too late. (2, Interesting)

NamShubCMX (595740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857496)

I tried a few game with this new N-Gage. This new model is really cool, seriously.

It *still* lacks shoulder button, but it fits so nicely in the hand, way better than GBA or GBA SP. Of course, it still lacks decent games...

Also, it's smaller than the Nokia 6600, so for a phone it's a good size, compared to the first model.

In any case I hope to see competition in the handheld gaming market! :)

Re:It's too little, too late. (1)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857525)

The downfall of hybridizing products like this is two fold....

For me, it's pretty clear that they're targetting teens, where cell-phones are in vogue and they're playing games too. The major flaw IMHO is the price (which is way out of range from common teenager's pocket) and the design. Games are pretty much priced right (IIRC $30, about the same price as GBA games). If they want to be a bit more aggressive, they can price it a bit lower, like $25 or even less. Now in this news they said they've fixed it. Price sounds about right, I dunno about the design. The only thing left is to drag major game producers in, which is pretty hard due to the first failure.

Just my 2c

Re:It's too little, too late. (1)

matticus (93537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857725)

Well, if it's anything like the first ngage, it will be selling for 1 euro + contract within one month of release. Oh wait-you mean that was flop pricing, not special promo pricing?

Re:It's too little, too late. (2, Insightful)

S3D (745318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857555)

There are two ways Nokia could have pulled it off. They could have either hooked up with Nintendo and sold a phone that also played Gameboy Advance games. Thus they'd have a huge library of games, and both audiences are tailored two. Or if they really wanted to compete, they should have created a standalone console that wasn't tied to the cell phone.
Both not viable alternatives. Nokia pushing Symbian OS. Switch to another OS or make an emulator with limited CPU/memory for niche product is not practical. Standalone console is not what Nokia targeting. Nokia target middle segment between hardcore and casual, people who want have handheld gaming device, but don't want carry another box.Another point is communication. The idea was online gaming through GPRS/WAP. Those games never materialize, but that is another problem (prices still too high). Overall impression of this new NGage - it's more like patched original device , not new. It should be exchanged for old for free (or with huge rebate), or original owners would feel cheated. Trouly new device should have twice bigger screen, twice faster CPU (at least 200 mHz, for now this "gaming" device have 104 mHz vs 150+ mHz of SonyEricsson P800) and, most important - Symbian 8.x OS with hardware OpenGL ES. If NGage 2 will not reach those parameters it will be another falure.

Re:It's too little, too late. (1)

lemody (588908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857762)

you could be tempted by the fact that you can run c64 and gb and nes with emulator on it :) and i am quite sure there are more emulators on the way...

Missing it completly (2, Insightful)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857814)

I think you're missing the point of the N-Gage.

Think: handheld game console + cell phone = ? Mobile online gaming of course! Even the demo game shipped with the N-Gage supported that. Of course for now the GPRS charges are killing it, but it the near future, this is going to be huge!

here are offical ...... (3, Informative)

entropy1980 (622108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857490)

pictures and full press release... http://www.mobileslash.com/content/hardware/nokia- announces-ngage-gd.shtml

Re:here are offical ...... (3, Informative)

entropy1980 (622108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857508)

woops clickable link here [mobileslash.com]

Re:here are offical ...... (2, Informative)

kaitsu (583543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857590)

More pictures and information at http://www.n-gage.com/qd [n-gage.com]

Hmm. (2, Funny)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857504)

The redesign is an attempt to address design criticisms

So they taped a gameboy advance to the front? Well, it sounds a little bulky, but it'll probably do the job.

It's all about the applications support (2, Insightful)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857505)

Seriously, what marketing genius decided to launch the original N*Gage with Tomb Raider and seven other mostly older games? Tomb Raider is almost 8 years old now. This is really an irrelevant piece of hardware unless it's up to the task of real 3D gaming with real apps that people want to play on the go - something that has not escaped Nintendo's Game Boy line.

Re:It's all about the applications support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857560)

and how they seem to think someone would buy the games at full price. that is Full Price as in 50EUR. the original Tomb Raider wasnt that much. :(

and from what i heard the system is bad to code for. the obscu^H^H^H^H^Hsecurity that has to come with mobile phones is said to take quite a toll on performance and ease of implementation.

Re:It's all about the applications support (2, Insightful)

kaitsu (583543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857738)

Old 8-bit Nintendo games seem to be doing rather well on GBA and they are _really_ old...

Re:It's all about the applications support (2, Interesting)

sashako (768589) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857829)

NGage is system60, so it supports emulation for ZX Spectrum, NES, C64 games. Anyone knows if there is Sierra scripts interpreter available? I am playing my favourites titles from 80s on my 3650 phone that lacks good joystick like one in NGage.

MP3/FM Support? (2, Interesting)

zackeller (653801) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857509)

So they take out two of the few things that made it worth buying. Wouldn't it just be a matter of some easily-coded software to give it mp3 support? The proc is certainly fast enough to run it software.

Re:MP3/FM Support? (4, Informative)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857608)

For MP3, just download the Helix player for the S60 [helixcommunity.org] .

Re:MP3/FM Support? (1)

ColourlessGreenIdeas (711076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857813)

I think the sound output is mono. It's mono in all games on the old one, and while the headset has 2 headphones, it has the same kind of plug as a standard Nokia handsfree. (The old one had 2 plugs; a handsfree jack and a headphone jack)

Poor product presentation (3, Interesting)

Borg453b (746808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857522)

My brother and I saw the thing at Saturn (huge electronic store in hamburg), and it wouldnt let us load any of the games.. think it gave us some kind of out of memory msg. We both laughed at it and left

Price (4, Insightful)

Shakey_Jake33 (670826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857532)

For me, the problem once again comes down to pricepoint. I am well aware that the price is relatively cheap as far as mobile phones go. However, I neither want, nor need, a mobile phone. I would be buying this product strictly as a games console, and from that perspective, the $199 price point suddenly seems unreasonable considering the probably short future of the product. If I'm going to spend such a substancial amount on a handheld, I'd save my money for a PSP, which promises a larger lime-up of games, from more developers, on a product line which is more likely to actually have a future. Or get the cheaper, but trusty GBA. Which is a shame because there are some games that truely interest me on the NGage... I loved the original Pandemonium! to bits, and a handheld Tomb Raider sounds pretty cool also. Ultimately unless you intend to use this as a phone also, it's just not worth the asking price, and that's a pretty sizable chunk of the market Nokia are blocking out (I mean, even if a person does use a cell phone, will they want to be limited to this one?).

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857547)

Repeat after me:

"I am not the target market"
"I am not the target market"

Re:Price (1)

Shakey_Jake33 (670826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857759)

So who is? I would say the video games portion of the said unit it designed to appeal to people who, believe it or not, actually play video games. While I am full aware that they are trying to aim towards the more phone-orientated mainstream user, their current situation just goes to show that by not appealing to the gamer, a device where half of it's selling point is going to go no-where. Phone users who don't play games are just going to get a superior phone. My personal opinion is that if they are so keen to push the gaming side of this device, they'd win over far more people by actually signing up some games (like the canned Sega Rally for one), than re-releasing the exiting model. Just my opinion on that one.

Nokia should switch to making laptops... (1)

MisterLawyer (770687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857537)

Then you would have to remove the battery to put in a different CD.

Too little too late? (3, Insightful)

BinaryC (314673) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857557)

This would have been a great product if it was released first, but I have to wonder if anyone will care now -- You only get one chance to make a first impression.

N-Gage QD - Nokia's Answer To The Critics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857564)

Posted by simoniker on Wednesday April 14, @01:23AM
from the straight-talking dept.
JayBonci writes "According to CNET News, Nokia is preparing the N-Gage QD for release at the end of June. The redesign is an attempt to address design criticisms; such as 'side-talking' and the need to take out the battery to replace the game. Will this signal new life for the console, or is it too little, too late?" We linked to leaked pictures of the N-Gage follow-up late last week on Slashdot Games, and there's further information at GameSpot, which mentions: "When bundled with a service contract, the QD is expected to sell for $99. Without subsidy from a service provider, the phone will go for $199 (with the platform's Tony Hawk title bundled in at that price)."

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857566)

Nokia is preparing the N-Gage QD for release at the end of June.

Can you repeat that, but in English?

Nokia and Software Patents (3, Insightful)

Serious Simon (701084) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857579)

They push [ffii.org] for software patents in Europe. Software patents are a threat to innovation.

I for one will not buy any more Nokia products.

N-Gage (QD) value (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857614)

Besides of the obvious design flaws, I never quite understood the amount of negative feedback for N-Gage. A Series 60 phone with MP3-player, Bluetooth, Calendar, Java support, FM-radio and some Gaming capabilities for $200 (or even the original $300) was IMHO never that bad a deal.. Considering that Series 60 phones typically retail for about $400-600, the QD (without the major flaws) seems at least an reasonable deal.

The fact people are almost fanatical with their dislike with the N-Gage has never made sense to me. I guess one problem was that it was marketed as a game console even though it's still primarily a cell phone (with an innovative SideTalking (tm) interface ;)

I can understand that people prefer the $100 Gameboy as portable console or that they don't wan't hybrid device or that they just don't like the design, but people seem to take "hating the N-Gage" very personally.. Is this just another episode of the "One True Console"-wars, or what?

Re:N-Gage (QD) value (2, Interesting)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857790)

A Series 60 phone with MP3-player, Bluetooth, Calendar, Java support, FM-radio and some Gaming capabilities for $200 (or even the original $300) was IMHO never that bad a deal..

Yes its a phone, but talking on it not only makes you look silly its also very difficult due to poor placement of the speaker and mic. Yes it plays games but the button layouts are poor and the screen flickers making playing for more than 10 mins painful on the eyes.

The reason it got such bad press it that it was a very poorly thought out product with some serious and blatant design flaws. They just fixed 2 of them, the game changing one is crucial to its success as a gaming system. But unless they have made it usable as an actual phone its not going to do well. Its only real advantage over the GBA is that it is a phone hybrid, if the phone part is crappy then sticking with your existing phone and buying a GBA for considerably less money is a much better plan.

misunderstandings (4, Insightful)

child_of_mercy (168861) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857619)

OK, I think you're all misunderstanding this product.

It's not a destination, it's a journey.

The day after tommorrow there won't be phones, mp3 players, games consoles, or even computers as we currently think of them.

As it is why buy and ipod when your phone is going to have a Gb of storage and an mp3 player next year?

Interfaces will vary according to function, so you'll still have a keyboard and montior on your desktop, and a pad and a stylus in your palm, and a TV and huge speakers in your home.

But the storage and processing and comms will all be the one package that you'll carry around everywhere you go.

Nokia want a piece of that, the N-Gage is a step down that path.

Their building expertise and experience and making relationships with crucial content developers.

Microsoft, Intel, and Sony also see themselves as possible players in the space.

who's going to win?

My money's on the guys that embrace open standards and open source, simply because all this stuff is going to have to play together really well.

Anyway Nokia are trying to make the best product they can for now, but even if the next dozen N-Gages are flops have to keep trying to get it right.

N-Gage was a cool platform. QD won't be. (5, Interesting)

otter42 (190544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857650)

I used to have an N-Gage. Until it broke and then got stolen. (Fortunately in that order.) The platform was actually quite good for what it was, and quite terrible for what it was advertised for.

From a computing standpoint, the thing was awesome. It ran Java apps, so that meant that within 24 hours of owning one, I had already downloaded a messenger client so I could be on all the IMs 24-7, no matter where I was.

Then there was the ogg player, the Gameboy emulator, etc. All for free.

Plus, it could understand Palm Pilot files, so no need to carry around both if all you use in the Palm is the address book. With a 512MB card, it was like carrying around a giant USB key, one that I used both under Linux AND Windows.

However, this new one looks as if it takes all the funcionality away with it's awkward button layout. It's never been easy to type on a cell phone. With this design, it'll be practically impossible.

And since I never played any N-Gage games on it, 'cause they were terribly boring and the platform was no good as a game machine, I agree with an earlier poster-- QD= Quiet Death. I won't be buying another one, that's for certain.

Selling Ice to Eskimos or Condoms to Lesbians (4, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857672)

Nokia is making a HUGE mistake with the N-Gage. They're trying to muscle in on two markets at once with this. Nintendo is the undisputed heavyweight champion of mobile gaming, and they have been for half of my life. From the time of the original Gameboy no one has been able to unseat them, dispite better products. Sega's Game Gear, Atari's Lynx, NEC's Turbo Express, and the Pocket Neo Geo were all superior to Nintendo's offering of the day; each and every one of them got their asses stomped by Nintendo. This one will be no different.

They have a large stake in the cell phone market, in a sense they're trying to sell a gaming device to people who just want a cell phone. People who want a cell phone will buy a cell phone, possibly one of Nokia's. Their cell business will eat away potential customers of N-Gage. People who want mobile gaming AND cell phones will buy a Gameboy and a cell phone.

What they've done is put themselves in a no win situation. They're trying to sell things that people either don't need or don't want.

Ice and Condoms.

LK

Re: Condoms to Lesbians = good business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857776)

FWIW; even lesbians can use condoms for purposes of hygiene - it's a recommended practice to cover whatever playthings with one, from fresh greens to a pink dildo.

Maybe this niche market should be targeted with special condoms...

Re:Selling Ice to Eskimos or Condoms to Lesbians (1)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857812)

Sega's Game Gear was better?

I guess you had enough cash to replace all 8 AA batteries ever half hour of game play... I mean, that thing sucked down batteries like a friggin' bat outta hell...

Re:Selling Ice to Eskimos or Condoms to Lesbians (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857838)

Sega's Game Gear was better?

Yes.

I guess you had enough cash to replace all 8 AA batteries ever half hour of game play... I mean, that thing sucked down batteries like a friggin' bat outta hell...

256 colors on a backlit screen used more power than the GBs black and white display. Does this really surprise you?

LK

Re:Selling Ice to Eskimos or Condoms to Lesbians (1)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857852)

You missed my point.

As a *mobile gaming platform*, One of the most important things to consider is battery life. You COULD NOT take a Game Gear on, say, a road trip, unless you brought 2 extra 64 packs of batteries to feed it when it got hungry...

And, that is why it failed as a *mobile gaming platform*. You couldn't USE it unless it was plugged into the wall, unless you had a MAJOR battery budget.

BTW (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857677)

Look at the console/phone I refer to from my journal [slashdot.org] ...
Doesn't it remind you of something ?

Games? That's not what color screens are for... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857685)

We need good mobile device with color screens to look at something else [steamymobile.com] .

Well, let's see what's happened. (5, Informative)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857706)

As someone who quite seriously bought the N-Gage as the cheapest unlocked GSM worldphone I could get, I think I'm in the position to review the changes ;)

In positives steps, the new N-Gage QD is:
* A bit smaller (nice of them).
* Hot-swapable MMC (not a big deal, really).
* Better battery life (YAY).
* Separate OK button (double YAY!).
* The d-pad and buttons seem ok (E3 well tell if they're any good).
* Auto-run for inserted MMC games (eeh).
* Vibration/enchanced speaker for games.
* Quick-game key (handy if they had good games).

However, there are some significant drawbacks for those who want some of the features of the original phone:
* It's dual-band (EGSM 900/1800) -- no more 1900 support (the band we use in North America). No more GSM phone use in North America with N-Gage QD.
* Also no more radio support, which also means no more recording radio (I listen to the radio a lot when I've listened to the MP3s I have too much).
* And no more MP3 or AAC support (which is the main use for my phone besides a phone).
* Movies? Nope!

Essentially, it's a $200 USD Gameboy in North America, since it has none of the features which redeemed the original N-Gage, except the ability to play AAA-quality gaming titles on MMC.

I don't know how the folks at Nokia can claim that the N-Gage games are AAA-quality titles. I guess most Gameboy games are AAAAAAAAAA-quality titles, because every single one of the games I've tried has sucked so fucking much. But, hey, at least I got a phone/mp3 player/movie phone/mms capable/colour with calendering device out of it. Purchasers of the N-Gage QD won't get that at all.

I don't think Nokia will be back for a third round, considering they've lost the second round right here. If they'd managed to get any decent titles, it might be a different story, but no one except maybe Nintendo seems to have the ability to float a platform with 1st-party titles. Without really great 3rd-party wooing via buckets of money (MS) or sheer momentum (Sony), there's no way to get into the game market. Sorry, Nokia, but I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.

It's still too big to use as a mobile (3, Informative)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857728)

Nobodys going to use this thing as a mobile unless it's small enough to fit in your pocket. Also, the screen should be oriented horizontaly, not vertically

Re:It's still too big to use as a mobile (1)

haggar (72771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857859)

Actually, this thing is tiny! It's smaller and thinner than the original N-Gage, which wasn't too big to begin with. I have no idea where you got the idea the QD is too big?!?

Headphone Jack? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857745)

That would be nice... especially for train/bus/road trip solitude.

commercials (1)

mac os ken (732050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857767)

Has anyone seen the commercial for the football game for N-Gage. Is it just me or does that this stutter like a 486 running XP? How in the heck did that make it past marketing?

The other commercials are just laughable. The games that are on N-Gage I could go buy in the clearance bin at my local videogame store.

There is a saying Nokia. It goes something like, "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice..."

Re:commercials (1)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857800)

Oh! I know that one...

President Bush taught it to me... Lesse...

"Fool me once...shame on you. Fool me twice......er.....look, you ain't gonna fool me again..."

That's the one, right?

One small thing.. (5, Insightful)

superhoe (736800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857786)

A device which you can use to call + receive phone calls, play games (emulator as well, from gameboy to C64 and MAME), use calendar, browse net, email, listen to radio, mp3 and do pretty much anything else by installing loads of nice s60 software. F.ex. Teletext application is my big favourite.

Is even $200 (if it's even that much) really expensive for all that? For me, it is definitely not. I'm unaffiliated with Nokia; I just like this particular device because it's very useful and cheap phone which allows me to do everything I wish and lots more.

Mandrik Racing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857816)

http://www.mandrikracing.com [mandrikracing.com]
Hate
to spam but just created a general topic site for a client and was
wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the site thus far? Please register if possible as I am trying to aid in building their community.

mod dOwn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8857826)

N-gage Reviews (0, Funny)

PatJensen (170806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857840)

So I went looking for reviews of the new N-gage QD - of which they are none. But I wandered over to Amazon and noticed the usual pre-teen idiots, babbling in all lowercase and using half of the alphabet on how cool it was going to be BEFORE it was released - like every other Amazon video game review.

Does that bother anyone else or is it just me? Everytime I go to Amazon and read those stupid 11 year-old video game reviews I get turned off and remember why I don't shop there. The stupid reviews make my skin crawl. Speaking of which, the 1st gen N-gage should go for pretty cheap on eBay when the new ones come out.

Just a pet peeve of mine. Why go for reviews when I can read what the educated Slashdot community has to say!

-Pat

Finally! (4, Funny)

ooPo (29908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8857851)

Now we can get to complaining about the real meat of the Ngage: Boy do those games SUCK!
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