Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The N-Gage Will Rise Again

Zonk posted more than 5 years ago | from the or-not-whichever dept.

Portables (Games) 79

The New York Times has an article up this week talking about Nokia's third attempt to get their N-Gage brand into the minds of gamers. This time it's a service, not a device, and the company is betting that branding mobile games will be a better tactic than their previous attempts. "The Ideo and Nokia executives concluded that users mainly want to play against their friends and, at the very least, they want to know the skill level of their opponents. As a result, the new N-Gage permits users to see what games their friends have on their phones and whether they are online. They can also see how many points a person has earned in the game, as well as how much time they devote to solitary play versus group play. The researchers also asked players what their greatest frustrations were. High on the list was buying a game that turned out to be disappointing. In the new N-Gage service, customers will be able to sample games free before buying them. The selection will lean toward the casual side of gaming, with soccer and fishing titles and the popular puzzle game Bejeweled, among others. Nokia has not yet discussed prices."

cancel ×

79 comments

Again? (1)

the Plums in us (1040258) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386659)

The N-Gage barely rose in the first place..

Re:Again? (1)

the Plums in us (1040258) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386709)

Erm, the first time, rather. You know what I mean.

Re:Again? (1)

bi_boy (630968) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386997)

The N-Gage barely rose in the first place..

It managed to get a rise out of me though. Cos of how horrible it was.

ummm.... right.... (0, Troll)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386719)

Ok, sorry to break this to the Nokia execs, but it was a flop for more then just the multiplayer against "friends". One HUGE issue was the fact that you had to remove the battery to simply put in a new game. Doesn't look like they have mentioned that yet...

Re:ummm.... right.... (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386915)

What the hell is wrong with you?

At least read the fucking summary.

Re:ummm.... right.... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386969)

They *did* fix that problem, you know? The N-Gage QD [wikipedia.org] added an actual card slot, did away with side-talkin' [sidetalkin.com] , smoothed out the look, and dropped the price substantially. (I've heard of several people who managed to be at the right place at the right time to get their N-Gages for almost nothing.)

The real problem is that the concept was ill-advised to begin with. There's no real evidence to suggest that consumers want their gaming devices combined with their cell phones. Even worse, the portable gaming market has a high percentage of younger adults and children who are even less interested in getting an overpriced phone for gaming. To top things off, the N-Gage was graphically underpowered from day #1. It wasn't quite as bad as the Game.com [wikipedia.org] (pronounced "Game Comm"), but games like Tomb Raider pushed its 3D capabilities to the limit. Nokia also failed to follow up with a more powerful device after the introduction of the Nintendo DS.

As if things weren't bad enough, Nokia never knew how to market the thing. They kept trying to sell it as a phone rather than a game system. (On the few rare occasions that they even promoted it.) In result, the market ignored them.

Nokia should really just stop with the N-Gage and look at improving the controls on regular phones instead. Cell phone gaming is absolutely horrendous at the moment, yet no one in the market seems to be doing anything to fix it. Go figure.

Re:ummm.... right.... (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 5 years ago | (#20388199)

To be honest, I always thought if they had released the QD first, it MIGHT have done OK. Not great, but not the laughing stock it became. I actually heard from some ppl that bought one that it wasn't that bad. However by the time the QD came out it was far far FAR too late. At least a name change woulda helped, but the N-Gage = laughing stock.

Re:ummm.... right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20390011)

As far as J2ME phones are concerned, improving the controls is left up nearly entirely to Sun. The problem is that no one designs an application for just 1 phone. The only way to make money off of the mobile industry is to put your application on as many phones as can support it. The only real way to do this is to restrict your API set to the standard MIDP/CLDC implementation. However, once you do this, you're pigeon holed into a specific set of controls with only minor deviations. When you want more control (or better controls), you can use that phone's manufacturer's APIs, but that significantly reduces portability.

It's been awhile, but I'm sure the same can be said for modern-day brew devices. Smart phones may also have a similar limitation as well.

There's no real evidence to suggest that consumers want their gaming devices combined with their cell phones.
There are a lot of companies that would disagree with that statement.

Re:ummm.... right.... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390431)

As far as J2ME phones are concerned, improving the controls is left up nearly entirely to Sun.

Nonsense. The MIDP 2.0 APIs have sufficient controls for most games. The limitations are almost always in the hardware and/or bugs in the JVM implementation. For example, many phones will not report more than a single key press to the application. This makes it impossible to write a game that requires diagonals and/or direction + fire. To add insult to injury, many phones fail to report "game" keys to the application. (It's tons of fun trying to start an app on Motorola phones when the app can't read the left button. :-/) Combined with outright cramped controls with little effort put into making them better, cell phones are a travesty when it comes to gaming. Even the simplest game is hard to play on the vast majority of phones.

That's not to say that there aren't exceptions like the Nokia 68xx phones, but all those hardware features tend to be negated by the fact that Nokia's JVM has bugs big enough to drive a Mack truck through.

There are a lot of companies that would disagree with that statement.

Let 'em. Until they can show actual evidence, I won't believe that phone/game system combinations are viable in the market today. The current market for phone games has been a self-perpetuating market based on the idea that if you market known brands of games, you can sell them even if they're poor. Basically, the consumer has no other choice for content, so he'll gladly pay for the Pacman, Sim City, Tetris, Metal Slug, whatever carrot dangled in front of him. Who cares if he's actually going to play the game or not, as long as he buys it?

Of course, this sort of short-sighted thinking creates problems in the long run. Consumers start to catch on and all this new content gets de-emphasized when they select their next handset. Consumers end up with an even worse phone for playing games, and the cycle repeats.

Re:ummm.... right.... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390457)

"Nokia should really just stop with the N-Gage and look at improving the controls on regular phones instead. Cell phone gaming is absolutely horrendous at the moment, yet no one in the market seems to be doing anything to fix it."

The thing is Cell phones are already expected to check your email, surf the web, show video, and be a good phone!
I think it all about priorities.

N-Gage rocks! (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 5 years ago | (#20391791)

I disagree with the N-Gage being a bad concept. I have an N-Gage and enjoy it a lot and constantly have people who want to try it. The only reason the N-Gage didn't do better is that they sold it mostly at game outlets rather than at phone outlets and they never really advertised it or explained what it was. The only people who saw that the N-Gage existed were at a game store - if gaming was their priority they probably didn't want an N-Gage whereas if they wanted a solid cell phone with good gaming then N-Gage would have been great for them.

Slap a Sidekick-like flip-out keyboard, a built-in camera, and better MP3 support into the N-Gage and you'd have a definite winner. It does games well and it functions as a phone well (far less issues than popular phones like the Razr). As a gaming platform, it is handy because it is in your phone so you always have it with you, has a decent sound and picture, is comfortable to play, and you can buy games on actual disks and not as downloads that you'll lose when your phone dies. As a phone, it gets a good signal, has decent battery life, is pretty comfortable to use (especially for bigger people like myself). It has a built-in MMC slot which is something that until recently has been very hard to find on American phones. It works really well as a wireless modem with it's built-in bluetooth. The games for N-Gage are actually pretty good. IMO there is little point to 3D games on something as small as a phone anyway. Worms Armageddon is awesome on N-Gage, my wife likes several of the platform games, and her little brother likes Tony Hawk and Tiger Woods Golfing. The original Gameboy rules the world of portable gaming for years and it was never the fanciest gaming platform. It's not all about 3D.

N-Gage fixed the cell phone gaming problem but due to bad marketing nobody knew it existed. The only real negative it had, after getting rid of side talking, is that it didn't have a built-in camera.

Re:N-Gage rocks! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20408265)

IMO there is little point to 3D games on something as small as a phone anyway.

Try playing a 3d game on the Nintendo DS and you'll find that it's entirely feasible.

Re:N-Gage rocks! (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419331)

But why bother? As a whole, 3D games are less fun than older 2D games anyway. Your not going to be blown away by the amazing realism on a 2 inch screen anyway so why not play the games that are more fun? The vast majority of gamers still enjoy simple puzzle and arcade style games more than 3D so there is little benefit to going 3D.

Now - stick some VR goggles on a phone and I'd love to see some killer 3D built-in. Or even some sort of holographic projector would call for 3D. That'd be sweet. ;)

Re:N-Gage rocks! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20421737)

I'd disagree with any claims that categorically claim 3d is less or more fun than 2d. One of my favourite games on the DS is Chou Soujuu Mecha MG which is a 3d mech game that wouldn't be very feasible in 2d. Can't do much physics with thrown buildings in 2d, can't have analog up-down swings in 2d (the game would have to be top-down if it was 2d), etc. 3d is not for impressing people with realism, it's simply for having more dimensions when your game design needs them, e.g. for GTA.

VR goggles? Most people don't want those since they look dorky as hell and they prevent you from looking at your real surroundings which is probably not a good idea for a device mostly used in public places.

Re:N-Gage rocks! (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20430159)

3D can be fun - it just usually isn't. Increased realism isn't that fun. Most game makers have traded game play for realism which is a turn off to casual gamers. I do see that Nintendo is making an effort to change this with the Wii. I like playing GTA but I never play the missions because they just aren't fun. I just run around like a maniac causing mayhem because that is what is fun - especially when you have the cheat codes.

VR goggles don't have to look dorky. They only look dorky because they've so far been made by dorks, for dorks, and have some weird fetish to make them look like they escaped from a chessy 90's movie. Good VR goggles would be integrated into normal, stylish, glasses or sunglasses and should be able to be clear, opaque, or overlaid on reality. Computer argumented vision is cool. :)

Re:ummm.... right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20394247)

There's no real evidence to suggest that consumers want their gaming devices combined with their cell phones.
Not according to market researchers. From TFA:

Since then, mobile gaming has become a hot market. A quarter of the mobile phone users in the United States and Western Europe play at least one game a month on their phones, according to M-Metrics, a market research firm.


PDAs are dying because people prefer them integrated into their phones. The iPhone is hastening the integration of audio, video and web as well. Businessmen have made it quite clear that they'd rather have a fat phone and be able to do great Blackberry messaging.

If your phone could play the same games your DS or PSP could, would you choose to carry a separate device? Some would, but there is extremely clear evidence that there's a huge market that would rather have it all in on package.

Re:ummm.... right.... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20408321)

The problem with that statement, "1/4 play at least one game a month", is that even if I just fire up snake once or twice because I forgot my DS at home I count into that statistic. That's like measuring the number of PC gamers and counting a guy who plays Solitaire during lunch break. They are technically playing but it's unlikely that you can sell them any games.

If your phone could play the same games your DS or PSP could, would you choose to carry a separate device? Some would, but there is extremely clear evidence that there's a huge market that would rather have it all in on package.


There's two problems here:
1. Battery, gaming hardware eats power at a rate that's unacceptable for a cellphone. My DS will easily run dry if I play it a bit longer on one day, if that meant my cellphone goes down with it I'd be screwed.
2. Ergonomy, gaming devices need to be two-handed because you have to perform simultaneous actions in most games but a cellphone must be one-handed. A gaming device needs buttons that can be pressed in the spur of a moment and in almost any combination. The buttons must be easy to press, not stiff like cellphone buttons. They must be placed in an ergonomic shape which takes up too much space to fit a keypad on there. The screen must be reasonably large when a phone only needs the screen for some secondary purposes. The requirements for cellphone controls and gaming controls are pretty incompatible.

An all-in-one device must solve these issues before it becomes a good platform for both purposes.

Re:ummm.... right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20399503)

Yeah. The marketers were clueless. Had an interview with one during the GDC a few years back. I knew it was a bridge I could burn with little remorse, so I decided to just bust his balls.

I remember asking him point-blank: "So is this a cell-phone or a game system?" and he answered with some strange two-axis diagram. He kept pushing me to play some games, to the point where it was kinda creepy.

Then asked him about the design complaints, and how were they going to address that. His reply was something along the line of "There are some complaints, but most consumers like that, so there's no need for a change." Told him I was surprised since Nokia had just released news of the 2nd Gen N-Gage that morning. It was fun to watch him stumble over that news. I honestly think he knew nothing about it.

Had an idea N-Gage was doomed before that. The negative buzz was enormous at that point. But after that interview, I felt like I had first hand knowledge of the fact.

Dis-N-Gage (3, Insightful)

Bloodmoon1 (604793) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386733)

I think that the N-Gage brand is already firmly entrenched in the minds of gamers, but for all of the wrong reasons. I know that as soon as I read the title, the first thing that came into my mind was "not again". Anyone who bought an N-Gage when they first came out is probably still very bitter about how that all went down, and most people, I'd venture, will at least remember what a mess the whole thing was.

I don't know why Nokia is so dedicated to the brand, but they seem determined to get every cent possible out of it. Though at this point, I think they might as well just start trying to sell rebranded industrial waste as a child's toy. It seems to work pretty well for most places...

Re:Dis-N-Gage (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387079)

My thoughts exactly. This is kind of like releasing an HD-DVD format and calling it BetaMax II.

Re:Dis-N-Gage (1)

Ghost Hedgehog (814914) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387171)

If they target the brand to teens, Nokia has a very good change that it works. a) N-Gage just sounds well. b) The current youth has never heard of the N-Gage before. 4 years is quite long in the mobile telephone business, so it figures that Nokia relaunches a good old name.

Re:Dis-N-Gage (2, Insightful)

Bloodmoon1 (604793) | more than 5 years ago | (#20389087)

While I think you have the best angle possible for the N-Gage pinned down, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good angle and it really doesn't mean that it will work.

The whole "teen branding" thing has been proven to more or less not work when it comes to technology. Teens often do not have the technological savvy (knowing how to use MySpace and an IM program to propagate the decay of the English language is not the same as possessing sound technological abilities and understanding, a point that is lost on most people when they discuss how knowledgeable today's 20 and Under group is on technological issues) to have new technology effectively marketed to them, and they almost never have the financial resources to actually purchase anything without begging their parents or working a shitty job that makes them appreciate money and realize what is and isn't worth their cash. (See: The Hip-e computer, if you can find it anywhere)

On the sound of the name N-Gage, I was never sold on that one, especially if you're trying to market it to the teen crowd. Basically, you need a target to not only know that there is a word "Engage", but that is savvy enough to understand the play on words associated with it here, and to think that reworked English is cool. These are not typically things you will find in one package.

On the youth not knowing the name "N-Gage", you have a valid point, most of today's teens probably won't remember the name. However, they will probably have some friends who do remember and who will brief them. Additionally, and this goes back to the undesirably of a demographic that usually has to beg its way to purchases, their parents will stand some kind of chance of remembering the N-Gage as that shitty Game Boy knock off that cost to much and seems to have died out quickly. This will only be helped by the aggressive advertising campaign that Nokia ran for the N-Gage the first time around. All told, friends and parents of teens will likely veto either the purchase or financing of N-Gage branded products. Like another poster replied, it's the same thing that would happen if you called a HD-DVD format BetaMax II. It would be dead in the water from the foul taste it left in everyone's mouth that was around for it the first time.

There is nothing good, or even old really, about the N-Gage brand. While 4 years may have been a while ago, Nokia has actually done a very good job of keeping news about shitty N-Gage products in the main stream over the years, so really, N-Gage has been a more or less common concept for the last 4 years. They should just call future versions the Death Stick or something. They can't do any worse than N-Gage.

Re:Dis-N-Gage (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 6 years ago | (#20394107)

Basically, you need a target to not only know that there is a word "Engage", but that is savvy enough to understand the play on words associated with it here

Gee, I'm not sure if it's my nerdishness or my lack of savvy, but I always associated "N-Gage" with "N gauge", the model railroad size (below HO)! [The association even kind of makes sense -- N-gauge railroads are tiny, jewel-like things...]

Re:Dis-N-Gage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20387329)

How is this a troll? Is there some die hard ngager out there? If anything the shitgage is a troll.

Re:Dis-N-Gage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20389303)

Perhaps someone thought this bit was referring to the recent toy recalls in China?

Though at this point, I think they might as well just start trying to sell rebranded industrial waste as a child's toy. It seems to work pretty well for most places...

Re:Dis-N-Gage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20387437)

Not really sure why you're a troll, looks like some NGage fanboy is running around with modpoints.

Re:Dis-N-Gage (1)

FormulaTroll (983794) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387633)

I think that the N-Gage brand is already firmly entrenched in the minds of gamers, but for all of the wrong reasons.

I think their only real competition is the Phantom [phantom.net] .

Re:Dis-N-Gage (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390501)

Execs apparently have no concept of branding, or what it means. To further explain: account for franchises like "Turok - Dinosaur Hunter" or "Outpost." These games where horrible, and sold horribly too, yet they got sequels, and in Turok's case, several! How the hell does that meeting go down? "We've got this property, it sold wretchedly in its first iteration, and is universally reviled by critics and our target audience alike, but we'd like to have another go at this financial rat-hole." "Brilliant! Let's go to Lunch!"

Who makes these decisions, and how do they stay employed? This is present in so many industries. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ford Introduce a 2009 Edsel. Or Chevrolet do a special, Mexico only Chevy No Va.

It's like these people have no connection with taste or reality, and they're just asking the "Magic Meatball" for answers. Like they're genuinely surprised when they shit in a box and people refuse to buy it.

Re:Dis-N-Gage (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 6 years ago | (#20394053)

account for franchises like "Turok - Dinosaur Hunter" or "Outpost." These games where horrible, and sold horribly too, yet they got sequels, and in Turok's case, several!

Huh? The original Turok game for the N64 was an absolutely excellent game, and sold well because of this. That's why there were several sequels (which by all accounts got increasingly bad; I've only played the original though).

Re:Dis-N-Gage (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395629)

"Anyone who bought an N-Gage when they first came out is probably still very bitter about how that all went down

Lucky for them that was only about 12 people.

Give up, (1)

Devir (671031) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386793)

With the PSP and DS, as well as home consoles and computers, the gaming console market is pretty much flooded.

3 consoles, and 3 portables is MORE than enough to keep any human busy. I know I as an adult dont ha ve enough time in life to balance all the consoles, and as a father dont want my kids to play games all day when they should be focusing on schoolwork and getting exercise playing sports.

Re:Give up, (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387057)

I thought that's what they said about XBOX?

Re:Give up, (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387159)

xbox worked because of the PC ports and because the Dreamcast was all but dead by the time it hit.

Re:Give up, (1)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 5 years ago | (#20388765)

I guess you could say the XBox "worked," but if it was any company but Microsoft, that console would be dead. They still are subsidizing the hardware to the tune of hundreds of dollars per console. They've lost billions of dollars on it, and they have 2nd or 3rd place numbers to show for it, depending on which statistics you look at.

Now, I'm not saying the XBox sucks. I love a lot of the games (mmmm... Dead Rising), and I think XBox live is one of the best innovations to hit gaming in a long time. But from a business standpoint, it's been an unqualified disaster for Microsoft.

Re:Give up, (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#20388621)

With the PSP and DS, as well as home consoles and computers, the gaming console market is pretty much flooded.

3 consoles, and 3 portables
You mention 3 portables: PSP, DS, and what else? GP2X that I can't convince the local game store to stock?

is MORE than enough to keep any human busy.
Any human, including an independent developer? Is there any handheld gaming system sold in U.S. retail stores that is not locked down, other than perhaps a Nintendo DS system with a Datel Games n' Music accessory?

Re:Give up, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20391033)

My guess... would be PSP, DS and... Gameboy. Nintendo's just that successful in the hand held market.

Re:Give up, (1)

Brigade (974884) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395061)

That's the point .. they don't want you to have 3 consoles, 3 portables and a computer. That's the hardcore gamer segment. Mr. Reggie was quoted pre-launch last year as saying something along the lines of "We're not in competition with those guys [Microsoft & Sony].

They want to pull a Nintendo. They don't care about what consoles you may/may not own, so long as you keep spending money on THEIR console/software/peripherals.

The one benefit multiple consoles bring to bear is competition and forced innovation, same as any industry. If not for AMD/Intel, NVidia/ATI, Sega/Nintendo, etc. etc. tech growth would not be nearly as fast as it has been. Unfortunately, the N-Gage has yet to have an impact as a competitor to the portable market (which is why people would rather buy a PSP or DS and game on those in addition to toting around a phone, instead of using an all-in-one device.)

If Nokia could make a killer must-have gaming experience on a mobile phone that generates an interest in the market, watch the other players line up for thier share.

Not good against nintendo (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 5 years ago | (#20386817)

I love Nokia and my 6131 but let's face it, anything game related they would do it just won't compare against DS.
We are talking dual screen, touchscreen, mic, hundreds of cool games, etc.

Re:Not good against nintendo (1)

forgoil (104808) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387179)

Exactly. A mobile phone is far from a good game machine, for many a reasons. The biggest ones being java (C/asm in a jail would have been the way to go), the hardware (horrible buttons compare to a DS or PSP) and the size of the games. I can whip out my DS and play Final Fantasy III which will smoke whatever crap you have on a mobile phone. Nokia had the concept right with the N-Gage, the just couldn't deliver that concept even in the least.

I mean, how far is the DS from getting a skype cartridge? It as wifi, CPU, mic, speakers... heck, can I buy that? I want that! Then I can call people and play :)

Re:Not good against nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20387593)

C/asm in a jail you say.. let me introduce you to:

http://www.ideaworks3d.com/ [ideaworks3d.com]

Re:Not good against nintendo (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 5 years ago | (#20388779)

The N-Gage along with other N-series phones are S60 i.e. Symbian i.e. Epoc32 i.e CPP/C/Asm are all fine. In fact Nokia has recently release POSIX complaint C librarys so porting is easy.

Unlike the DS the SDKs are also free and you can install new apps over the air (or via trusty USB mass storage).

The newer models trounce the DS in resolution (yes counting both screens), processor power, and memory. And I am willing to wager quite a lot the successor to the N95 will have a touchscreen.

Re:Not good against nintendo (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 5 years ago | (#20389299)

The DS web browser is terrible, IMHO. I can only imagine how they'd botch the implementation of a skype cartridge. Also, the built-in mic and speakers aren't ideally situated for a phone call, so you'd pretty much have to plug in a headset. In much the same way that cell phones make for crappy portable game machines, so would the DS make for a really crappy phone.

Re:Not good against nintendo (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 5 years ago | (#20391645)

What are you comparing the DS web browser to? If you compare it to Firefox on the desktop, I can see your problem, but if you compare it to, say, the bundled browser on the PSP (which keeps running out of RAM) or Pocket IE on any given Pocket PC (which keeps crashing) it's possibly the best mobile browser out there.

Re:Not good against nintendo (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20392407)

In much the same way that cell phones make for crappy portable game machines, so would the DS make for a really crappy phone.

And yet your comments show exactly why this might work. There are people in the world who don't want a portable game player, but enjoy playing games on their phone because for them a phone is important, and games are a nice extra. There are other people in the world that are exactly the opposite. I use my cell so rarely that I often forget it; I never forget my DS and having the ability to make a rare phone call off of it would be cool.

Rise again? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20386863)

To rise again, wouldn't it had to have risen once before?

"Sidetalking" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20386885)

Ha-ha. Just give everyone +5, funny. I won't bother looking at this thread again.

Out of pity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20386959)

Nokia keeps on beating this dead horse over and over, I 'm almost starting to feel sorry for them. It's like watching the Special Needs student trying to hammer the square peg in the round hole, it just isn't going to happen, sweetheart!

Re:Out of pity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#20389583)

You forgot about Retard Strength (tm) I've seen that happen, when the board broke. I've never seen someone look happier.

The N-Gage is so dead.... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387089)

...the only way it will rise again is from the grave, groaning "Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!"

Re:The N-Gage is so dead.... (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20392949)

or from R'lyeh, when the stars are right.

Obligatory Sidetalkin' link (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387335)

http://www.sidetalking.com/ [sidetalking.com]

Re:Obligatory Sidetalkin' link (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 6 years ago | (#20394987)

Damn! I came here to post that.

NGage platform, not phone? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387489)

I can't read the artical because it's NYT, but I think their talking about the N-Gage platform, which is a development platform for all system 60 phones.
As far as I remember it was a 3d sdk based on top of the symbian os and was a closed system only available to select companies.

Eh, wot? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387575)

Proverb for the highly educated idjits (aka management) at Nokia:

"Beating a dead horse a third time will not make it live once more." - me

Re:Eh, wot? (1)

operato (782224) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387999)

idjits?? where is that derived from? it seems similar to eejit. but i don't think peeps at nokia are eejits. they know there's a market out there but they just can't pin the mofo down.

NGage indeed. (2, Insightful)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 5 years ago | (#20387791)

I've got a NGage QD sitting right here.The games I've tried tend to suck. Using it as a phone is uncomfortable to say the least.

I'd prefer Nokia continue to work on their Tablet products. If the NGage is destined to becomes a gaming service, my only hope is it will be available for 770 and 800.http://europe.nokia.com/770 [nokia.com]

All in all a great idea, horribly executed. If the cost hadn't been next to nothing I would feel I wasted my money.

HA, Article tagged Patrick Stewart..........Classic

Do they have a branding issue or what! (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 5 years ago | (#20388063)

Isn't this a bit like White Star Lines using the Titanic name to sell navigational systems?

I still remember... (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 5 years ago | (#20388341)

I went into a game store with a friend (a non-gamer). The store guy was trying very hard to persuade us that the n-gage was amazingly good.

His best selling point: The game goes in BEHIND THE BATTERY. That means you'll never lose a game cartridge, because there's no way to get at it without taking the thing apart, yanking the battery out, and messing around inside. MUCH better than those lame cartridge systems, where the cartridge can just sort of fall out.

Uh-huh.

There's probably no way they can ever recover their dignity after that one. I'd be more inclined to buy a gaming product which advertised that it was designed by ten clowns while they were inside a tiny little car.

The N-Gage Rises Again! (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390037)

But for some strange reason, all it can play is zombie-shoot-'em-ups. Weird.

The NGage Will Rise to the Top (1)

Patrick Cosmos (1148183) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390147)

Unfortunately, it will be the top of the landfill - and it will be there because it will be physically on top of the previous NGage attempts.

Is it true that they buried tens of thousands of these in the desert under a layer of concrete in the 1980s, or is that just an urban legend?

Brilliant use of resurrecting a brand, though. Other product names that could be used as part of a rebranding effort:
- Union Carbide
- Asbestos
- DDT

Re:The NGage Will Rise to the Top (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390675)

"Unfortunately, it will be the top of the landfill"

How does one dump an SDK on a landfill? Do you have to take the developer's computer with it, or do you burn it on a CD, and then dump it? Or maybe the developer manual?

I wonder what percentage of slashdot readers never read the articles people post about before commenting on it?

I wonder what percentage of slashdot readers never read the summary before commenting on it?

It does look like when the article is about N-Cage, the percentage is about 80%.

Re:The NGage Will Rise to the Top (1)

Patrick Cosmos (1148183) | more than 6 years ago | (#20393239)

What we have here is a failure to communicate. Jokes, man. Jokes. I know how to read.

That being said, I advocate physically throwing Nokia in the trash, along with printouts of all the trademark registrations related to the N-Gage.

Also, I'm sorry I messed up the hyphenation pretty bad. I hope you're not too upset.

Re:The NGage Will Rise to the Top (1)

PlusFiveInsightful (1148175) | more than 6 years ago | (#20394109)

MOD PARENT DOWN, FLAMEBAIT.

Re:The NGage Will Rise to the Top (1)

Deaney (1014409) | more than 6 years ago | (#20394531)

LOL

NGage sux0rs!!!!

I can't believe they are bringing out another Taco!!!

DDT (1)

MacroRex (548024) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396149)

That stuff really doesn't belong in your list. South Africa stopped using it in 1996 and the malaria cases rose in a certain province from 8000 with 20 deaths in 1996 to 42000 cases with 340 deaths in 2000. They started using it again, and the death rate is back to less than 50 per year.

In addition to the deaths of its citizens the stint cost South Africa a pretty penny, but the currently available, affordable alternatives just are not as effective as DDT.

About the topic at hand, I'd really like if Nokia would release a new version of the phone. The original was really a bargain for its feature set.

Again? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390899)

When did it rise the first time?

run that by me again? (4, Funny)

jadin (65295) | more than 5 years ago | (#20390941)

"..attempt to get their N-Gage brand into the minds of gamers... with soccer and fishing titles and the popular puzzle game Bejeweled, among others."

Gamers rejoice! Finally the games we've been waiting for!

As the owner of an N-gage... (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 5 years ago | (#20391733)

As the owner of an N-Gage who upgraded to a Nokia 6680 when the games dried up, I'd certainly be interested in installing the new N-gage software service thingy (or whatever it is) if it works on my current phone. The original N-Gage attempt wasn't nearly as bad as everyone makes out, it just seems to be very popular to slag off at it whenever the topic comes up.

Re:As the owner of an N-gage... (1)

Dusty101 (765661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20394091)

Aha! Another one! Kudos to you.

I still have one of the original N-Gage models (I got it cheap after the announcement of the QD), & I totally agree that it was nowhere near as horrible as some claim. Yes, the whole 'field strip it to change games' thing was clearly stupid, & the shape of it when using it as a phone was a bit awkward. However, back when I got mine (initially primarily just to use as a Bluetooth modem for my laptop), it was dirt cheap by S60 handset standards, & I was actually pretty impressed that I could surf the web fairly well on it while listening to the internal radio or music via the internal (hardware) MP3 player, & all that jazz, & still make calls & play some games on it. I even had PuTTY on it, so I could check my work email on it via ssh & a remote Pine session.

Now, I know that all of this is more common on phones now (& the DS has Opera, etc.), but for what was marketed as a kiddie toy, it was actually fairly neat. For its time, it had a fairly fast processor & decent resources, compared to similar models of the same vintage (e.g. the Nokia 3650).

And a few of the games towards the end of its shelf life were actually modestly innovative as well (Google for "Pathway to Glory", for example).

So, I'll go on record as one Slashdotter who isn't Nokia-affiliated, but who still found himself actually liking the N-Gage quite a bit more than he initially expected to. Of course, I may be the only one.

Someone explain the tags to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20392497)

How can 'patrickstewart' possibly be submitted by enough people to make it as a tag? Are tags that make it to the summary based on karma, or is that a lameass shadow group coordinating tag efforts?

No. (1)

chubs730 (1095151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20392533)

No. It won't.

Not feasible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20394931)

A smart phone service will not work. And while more are selling each year, they still only hold about a 10% market share. I certainly do not believe that is enough to make this third attempt profitable. Not only that, but when I think of who primarily uses smartphones, I think of busy executives and other professionals who do not have the time nor the desire to be able to play games against their friends (who are probably also busy professionals, etc.). As for myself, I only know one person who has owned an N-Gage, and that was four years ago. I don't think that the average (or even extreme) gamer wants to play games on their phone when they probably own a computer, console, and/or a handheld. Nokia, isn't thinking this through. They should nix this idea before they end up losing too much money.

The original was not as bad as you might think (1)

DirtyHarry (162125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20394997)

I owned an original N-Gage back in the days and even if it seemed to be quite fun for some to watch me talking "Taco-style" most of my friends got used to it and eventually I ended having phone which was more technically advanced than every other one. Even the real expensive business-class Nokias fell short in terms of features.

I had an mp3-Player with lots (back then) of storage and an external speaker that functioned quite weill, a radio, games, a USB-port (!) and last but not least, a Series 60 system that beat even most of the earlier mentioned businness-devices in therms of functionality. Hell, I even had an app that allowed me to let my phone change profiles when I entered certain areas (cells) like my campus. Even my current phone, years after this, isn't capable of doing half of it. And it (would have) cost much more.

The Nokia N-Gage was, if you could cope with holding it sideways (why not?) and carrying it around (it was kind of bulky but so were most of the other feature heavy phones), a blast. And in terms of running homebrew apps and games, a Geek's dream machine.

Whoever doesn't realize this is an ignorant fool.

Come on now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396765)

For the sake of dignity, leave the N-Gage in its grave. Its name is already irreversibly sullied. If Nokia believes that some "gamer stats" and a try-before-you-buy system are going to somehow be the killer feature that catapults the N-Gage into gaming stardom, they are not only wrong but deaf and blind to their own market. It cannot possibly compete with the DS or PSP. And as a phone it sucks sweaty donkey balls. N-Gage is dead. DEAD.

I wish Nintendo would get on the bandwagon (2, Interesting)

Mechanik (104328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396869)

What really needs to happen in order to make mobile gamers happy is Nintendo needs to make a version of the DS that has an integrated cell phone and a soft-keyboard on the lower screen for SMS/IM/email. Let me seamlessly drop out of a game to answer the phone or type a quick message and come back again where I left off.

Battery Life (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 6 years ago | (#20399895)

One plus of the DS is that however much I use it I can still make calls on my phone. The main problem with my N95 (which is being used as a graphics on TFA, though this may not be Nokia supplied) is that the phone doesn't last long when multimedia items are being used. I wonder if this affects all phones with nice displays - the models may not be there to support multiplayer gaming for this reason ATM.

Different beast. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20401625)

Original N-Gage <-> GBA/DS/PSP
New N-Gage <-> J2ME/BREW

Come on folks. You can't be entirely clueless. There's a world of difference.

n-gage... (1)

Skip666Kent (4128) | more than 6 years ago | (#20403311)

Did anyone else gravitate to this article thinking it was about really tiny model trains?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...