The original model, which launched last October and sold extremely poorly, was very easy to critique. You had to take out the batteries to change a game. You had to turn the phone on its side to talk. It had an FM tuner? Oh, and the price was $299. Who designed this, Mrs. Johnson's third grade class?
Now, Nokia is set to launch its answer to all that was wrong with the original. The N-Gage QD will debut in the states on July 26. Nokia remedied the game/battery swapping problem, fixed the side talking phone issue, got rid of MP3 playback and the FM radio and added a cam. They also lowered the price to $199. And, now, according to Gamespot, EB Games (in store only) will offer a $100 rebate upon signing a year contract with T-Mobile. That lowers the price to $99.
From the looks of things, one would say that Nokia fixed all of the major problems that plagued the original. And, I would have to agree with that. The question still remains, however, who the heck wants this device?
The GBA:SP is still the way to go when it comes to handheld gaming. If you're looking for a good cell phone, well, you can probably get one for free with a service contract. And, a large part of the population already has a cell phone and I doubt the N-Gage will be the next phone they're drooling over. The cam, well, a lot of cell phones have that built in now, as well.
I really think that the N-Gage was a bad idea from the start. Couple that with a terrible product that launched last October and the loss of any hype associated with it due to the aforementioned crapitude and even if Nokia does have the sweetest handheld machine ever created, there is simply little or no hype, demand, or interest in the QD.
As I've said before, Nokia should stick to phones.