Can the N-Gage Be Saved? - Mania.com



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Can the N-Gage Be Saved?

The new model is a step in the right direction

By Troy Roberts and James Stevenson     April 16, 2004

Recently, Nokia has announced that it will re-release a newly redesigned N-Gage system to counteract all of the problems and complaints that surround the current system. The question is, will this sell more systems or is it just a wasted effort?


A newly redesigned N-Gage, eh? Well, the price drop is a surefire way to get more people to buy this thing (since absolutely no one bought this thing when it was released), even if you do have to sign up for the supported cell phone service. Plus, the system does look a lot sharper than the clunky, current model. One downside is that the system will no longer support mp3s or FM radio, but the whole problem with the N-Gage has been its playability, not how the system looks or its features. Luckily, the system actually looks playable now. The directional pad doesn't look as bad as it was before, and here is hoping the system will play a bit better. But in all honesty, I'm not sure how much competition the N-Gage will give the Game Boy Advance, PSP or Nintendo DS, even with its new redesign. TR


After the disaster that the original N-GAGE was, Nokia HAD to redesign the thing. It's probably been in the works ahead of time, but I think by the time Nokia knew how bad the first design was, it was too late to stop the release of the first model. Nevertheless, this new model looks promising. I'm not really enthused about it as a cell-phone - I don't need a new plan, I don't want a new plan. That makes the $199 price point a bit steep for me, even though from a functionality perspective it's a pretty sweet little gaming system. All of this said, I don't think this really addresses all of the issues like the orientation of the screen, as well as the games that are going to be available for it. There needs to be some awesome titles, and I haven't really seen any at this point. That said, some companies are still jumping on board for development, so there definitely are some strong possibilities for the N-GAGE in the future. I'm still looking forward to getting my grubby little hands on a PSP and a NINTENDO DS though. JS


Also this week, we wanted to run a mention of the benefit for the widow of John Thonen, a former Cinescape writer who recently passed away. We wish his family the best in their time of mourning. For more information, please visit the Kansas City Star's website at http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/entertainment/columnists/robert_w_butler/8277359.htm.


TIDBITS


Bungie has revealed the Helljumpers, a new type of troop for HALO 2... Interplay may be facing eviction, the troubled company is behind on its rent... Japan is adding more descriptive ratings to its games to let consumers know what kind of content is inside... Ubi Soft is planning to release console versions of the U.S. Army's AMERICA'S ARMY game... Factor 5 and Silicon Knights will now both work for additional consoles besides just Nintendo's... Nintendo has announced a second wave of original NES games for the GBA, including MARIO BROS., DIG DUG, and WRECKING CREW...


ON SHELVES


This week we see the release of HITMAN: CONTRACTS for the PS2, Xbox and PC, EYETOY: GROOVE for the Playstation 2, as well as the release of SHINING SOUL II for the Game Boy Advance. Also, SIREN will be released for the Playstation 2. Equally cool is the Katana: The Soul Controller, a katana-shaped controller to be used with ONIMUSHA 3 (of course, the controller runs at 150 bucks).


 



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