Neo-Geo, Arcade, Portable, & Every Other Platform
Ivo
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N-Gage and Gizmondo, any opinions?

by Ivo Thu May 04, 2006 11:09 am

Anyone has well formed, justifiable opinions on these lesser known handhelds (if you can call them handhelds)?

The N-Gage as you probably know, is a cell phone with extended gaming functions;

You might not have heard of the Gizmondo (I know I didn't hear about it until recently), but it is a portable GPS device, also with extended gaming functions.

To be honest I don't know much about them, but I got that they were/are a bit expensive as typical gaming outlets go (perhaps not comparing them to the recent PSP), but apparently were actually cheap comparing to other systems of their "other" use (modern generation cell phone for the N-Gage or portable GPS device for the Gizmondo).

Anyone cares to comment?

Ivo.
crisis
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Opinions on NGage

by crisis Wed May 10, 2006 10:23 am

I have a strange affinity for the NGage. It's capable of doing a lot more than just sliding in MMC cards and games. None of the entertainment on the unit is mind-blowing, but a lot of the titles are great creations that take advantage of the handheld's capabilities. The games really remind me of something between a Genesis and a PS1.

The unit runs Symbian OS, can be used with a couple of carriers, and it has Bluetooth capabilities. In addition to the boxed games, the unit is capable of running a whole myriad of Java-based titles. There are also a few emulators avaiable (Genesis, NES, GB).

There are two models, the NGage and the NGage QD. The first-edition NGage has true stereo headphone output and an FM tuner. The QD only has mono output and no FM tuner. However, it's smaller, has a much brighter screen, and there's NO SIDETALKIN'!. With the QD, you also don't have to remove the battery every time you want to swap out cards.

I've seen the Cingular prepaid NGage QD at Gamestop for $49.99 new. The console is in its fading stages, so this would be the time to pick it up. Gamestop also had all of their game titles for $2.99-$6.99.

It is also very easy to find the games online and copy them to your MMC card for future play. I bought an off-brand 1GB MMC for around $50. I have pretty much every commercial NGage game, a couple of emulators and a boatload of SIS and Java games all on the card. There's a lot to be said for having the actual games, too!
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Ivo
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Re: Opinions on NGage

by Ivo Wed May 10, 2006 11:43 am

crisis wrote:There are two models, the NGage and the NGage QD. The first-edition NGage has true stereo headphone output and an FM tuner. The QD only has mono output and no FM tuner. However, it's smaller, has a much brighter screen, and there's NO SIDETALKIN'!. With the QD, you also don't have to remove the battery every time you want to swap out cards.

I've seen the Cingular prepaid NGage QD at Gamestop for $49.99 new. The console is in its fading stages, so this would be the time to pick it up. Gamestop also had all of their game titles for $2.99-$6.99.

It is also very easy to find the games online and copy them to your MMC card for future play. I bought an off-brand 1GB MMC for around $50. I have pretty much every commercial NGage game, a couple of emulators and a boatload of SIS and Java games all on the card. There's a lot to be said for having the actual games, too!


Putting it in similar words to yours, I have a strange affinity for these weird, unknown portables (I got a NGPC and a Wonderswan). I was thinking of buying them... So you'd recommend going for a QD instead of the base model? I think that the original one plays mp3 while QD doesn't (if it was just for the stereo and the FM tuner I would certainly go for the QD). I'm still leaning towards the QD because I'd use it foremost as a game machine.

Ivo.
crisis
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by crisis Wed May 10, 2006 1:12 pm

The QD will play mp3, but it doesn't come with a bundled application that does it. I think this is because they no longer offered the stereo headphone option. I used Helix Player, I believe. It's a product made by the Real Labs folks. In either case, the quality of the music output from the NGage is not great at all. I wouldn't consider this in making the purchase decision.

You'll likely find a brand new NGage QD which would be a bonus over buying a used first-model NGage. In all likelihood, if you can scoop up the Gamestop one for $50, you'd probably pay the same for a used one on eBay or elsewhere. If you want, I'll check a couple of stores around here. If they have it, you can have it for cost+shipping. I'll let you know what turns up.
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Ivo
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by Ivo Thu May 11, 2006 7:53 am

crisis wrote:You'll likely find a brand new NGage QD which would be a bonus over buying a used first-model NGage. In all likelihood, if you can scoop up the Gamestop one for $50, you'd probably pay the same for a used one on eBay or elsewhere. If you want, I'll check a couple of stores around here. If they have it, you can have it for cost+shipping. I'll let you know what turns up.


Well, I'm in the U.K. so I think I would better try to find something around here, but thanks anyway for the help and tips. I don't really care much about music on the go, so if I try to go for it I'd definitively go for a QD then.

One question however: do these cheap QDs at Gamestop come with a phone contract? If I got any N-Gage I'd probably wouldn't like being attached to a network (at least, not for long) as I don't really make phone calls other than from VoIP nowadays, and paying for monthly subscription fees would really be an extra cost on the "handheld console" for me.

Ivo.
crisis
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by crisis Mon May 15, 2006 4:22 pm

Well, I found a video game shop that still had the discounted N-Gage QD in stock. I barely made it, too. They had already taken everything off of the shelves, and they were going to remove it from the active inventory later that day!

They offered all the games at $3 per game, too. They seemed to have most of the US releases. I can check back if you're interested in any of that. Honestly, though, I'd suggest you put your money towards a 1GB MMC and make a master collection of games and emulators.

Any luck on finding one for yourself?
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neohx_7
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by neohx_7 Tue May 16, 2006 9:46 am

I'll stick with my Treo as it uses SD cards and plays NES games beautifully.
crisis
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by crisis Tue May 16, 2006 10:42 am

The N-Gage does a great job of emulating NES, GB/GBC and Genesis. I don't think the SNES emulator(s) ever got that far. The N-Gage specific games are great in and of themselves.

Besides, ~$300 for a Treo vs ~$50 for an N-Gage is a tough sell :D . I always smile when I see business folks with the smartphones taking time out to play games.
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