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N-Gage

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N-Gage
Nokia N-Gage wikittää.jpg
Nokia-NGage-QD.jpg
It's a Nokia 5510 on steroids.
Developer: Nokia
Release Date: October 7th, 2003 (Original model)
May 2004 (QD)
Competitors: Game Boy Advance
Generation: Sixth generation

The N-Gage was a "handheld console" made in 2003 by Nokia and attempted to beat Nintendo's Game Boy Advance by being both a video game console and a mobile phone. It also had an MP3, Real Audio/Video playback and PDA features. It could play standard Series 60 software and Java MIDP applications.

Why It Wasn't N-Gaging

  1. Actually, it isn't a handheld console. It's just a mobile phone with game console functionality shoehorned in, since it needs a SIM card to work.
  2. The buttons for the phone were not well suited for gaming, and gamers were uncomfortable using the phone feature. It wouldn't be until one year later, 2004, when the N-Gage QD would fix this problem, but by then, the brand had gained a poor reputation.
  3. In order to insert a game in the original model, gamers had to remove the cover and the battery to get to the slot. Fortunately, they fixed this in the N-Gage QD by adding a hot-swappable memory card slot on the bottom of the device.
  4. By the time the N-Gage was discontinued, it had a library of 58 titles, with 56 of them released to North America. By then though, Nokia had started working on smartphones and started the N-Gage service, putting the N-Gage into smartphones. This lasted until 2010, when the service was discontinued.
  5. Like most Nokia phones, the N-Gage was mostly infamous for its appearance, which resembled a taco and was "remembered as a mildly humorous internet joke" according to GameTrailers.
    • According to an engineer who worked at Nokia, the inspiration for the N-Gage system's design was actually goatse. We kid you not![1]
    • However he also stated that the designer actually made it as a joke, but the management accepted it anyway.
  6. The screen was tall but not very wide, it has a size of 2.1' and a resolution of 176 X 208, which is the common size and resolution for Symbian S60 phones at the time until early 2006.
  7. Unlike the Nokia 3300 (which is based on this phone's design), the speaker and the microphone were located at the side of the phone. This resulted in many calling it a "Talking Taco" or a "Sidetalking N-Gage".
  8. Its copy protection was cracked almost immediately, which made the system unattractive to third-party devs.[2]

Redeeming Qualities

  1. To be fair it did have some good games from good franchises like Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc but it is actually a 2D game unlike its console versions and Sonic N, which is actually a port of Sonic Advance for the Nokia N-Gage and Crash Nitro Kart, which is based on the GBA version.
  2. Despite being poorly executed, the concept of a gaming phone was very good, and would later be adapted by Sony, Asus, ZTE and Xiaomi.
  3. The phone has 3D capabilities, which is pretty impressive for a phone from 2003.
  4. The QD model fixed most of the issues that the original model had, like it has a hot-swappable memory card slot, better button layout and a new theme that replaced the generic S60 theme.
  5. It's the first handheld to use plastic cases for their cartridges instead of the cardboard cases that handhelds at the time used
    1. On top of that, the game cases has storage for up to 4 cartridges that you can store inside, which is great if you want to travel with the games but you don't have space.
  6. It uses a normal MMC memory card slot rather than a proprietary cartridge slot, meaning you can install N-Gage games if you want on a memory card.

Trivia

  • The N-Gage sponsored a monster truck in 2004 that ran in Antwerp, Belgium for one show.[3]

Videos

References

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