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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

Give The NGage And Phantom A Chance? 71

Thanks to GameSpy for their 'Sole Food editorial urging gamers to take another look at the NGage and Phantom games hardware. Regarding Nokia's NGage game/phone hybrid, the piece suggests: "Gamers should be excited by what Nokia is bringing to the table. Mobile multiplayer gaming via Bluetooth and GSM/GPRS is a wonderful idea and definitely the future of portable gaming." As for Infinium Labs' Phantom console, the author is cautious but optimistic: "I'm not advocating the Phantom, but I'm very much fascinated by what Infinium purports it will introduce to console gaming: digital distribution. This is definitely the way gamers will buy games in the future." Reason enough to think again?
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Give The NGage And Phantom A Chance?

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  • Shure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by August_zero ( 654282 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:20PM (#6852024)
    Gather round children, and let me tell you a little story about the Phillips CD-I, or the 3D0, or the Sega 32-X. You see, all of these were systems that consumers cried "foul" on long before they even hit the store shelves. Some unfortunate souls bought these, and for their dilligence they were rewarded with very expensive door stops.

    New does not mean better, and when someone is trying to tell you their product can do everything from play every game ever made, all the way to cure cancer you are completely right in smelling a rat.

    Innovation makes the world go round, but clearly these two products, the phantom and the N-Gage are not the light at the end of the tunnel. They are merely C.H.U.D.s with a flashlight trying to eat your wallet.
  • by jvmatthe ( 116058 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:31PM (#6852143) Homepage
    Let me give my wallet another look...nope, I don't see $300 there for a handheld system that has received lukewarm previews.

    Let me give my sense of convenience another look...nope, I don't see me taking off a battery every time I want to change games.

    Let me give my GBA another look...decent price, convenient...yep, everything I currently need in a handheld. With the light, looks good.

    I think I'll go look at all the cheap used games in my local store while I'm looking.
  • by liquidzero4 ( 566264 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:39PM (#6852238)
    It's such a terrible system. I can't beleive anyone, especaily someone from GameSpy would have anything nice to say about it.

    I don't care who makes the system or the games, if it's good, it's good.

    But this thing is just terrible. From what I saw the graphics/sound were terrible. This thing was so slow. It looked like it's wasn't pushing more than 10 frames a seconds. It looked like a high tech flip book.

    The game play on anysystem that slow has got to be terrible. It reminded me of playing Doom on a 25 Mhz 386.
  • Maybe... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgroarty ( 633843 ) <brian.mcgroarty@gmail . c om> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:49PM (#6852336) Homepage
    Maybe I'd give the NGage a chance if you didn't have to pop the battery and break out a screwdriver to change game carts.

    "But it's supposed to be for online game play!"

    Then why are the few polished titles (Sonic, etc) still carts for it?

  • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:30PM (#6852697) Homepage
    Were it not a cellphone first and a gaming platform second. I've read the Nokia propoganda they send to the local video game chains. They expect people to come in, spend 450$ CDN on it, and then go home and play games that look marginally better than GBA games (note: GBA SP -- 150$ CDN) on a crappier button layout, while also required battery swapping to swap carts.

    They expect that the bluetooth multiplayer and fact that you can upload your times in games via GPRS to their Nokia wireless service will be worth the 3x upfront cost. This is despite the obvious caveat that most cell plans with data transfer are stupidly expensive. The pamhplet says in bold, "User must have data transfer features on their cellular plan." I'm not paying an extra 10$ a month of cell fees for what I can spend half on (Xbox Live! centralized scoring and multiplayer) -- especially since an Xbox is only 250$ CDN. The extra 200$ I save not going with an N-Gage buys me Live! and a couple of games.

    This mobile wireless niche Nokia wants to dominate doesn't exist. It won't exist for a few years yet, since GPRS and CPDP are still prohibitively expensive and unused by the general populace.

    As for the Phantom -- only 1 company can be succesful on a the platform which is based around XP Embedded; Microsoft.
  • by skyknytnowhere ( 469520 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @05:39PM (#6853941)
    "Blah blah blah give the hardware a chance."

    No, I'll give games a chance. I don't give a crap what hardware it's running, or how cool it's wireless networking is supposed to be. Unless it's running games I want to play, I'll pass.

    Of course, the fact that the Phantom is probably an elaborate hoax has nothing to do with it- at least I've seen (crappy) games on the Ngage.

  • Re:In a word, no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alkaiser ( 114022 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @06:05PM (#6854170) Homepage
    Let's see...the N-Gage and Phantom want to advertise on our let's write an article telling gamers to possibly endorse the WORST 2 ideas ever.

    On one hand, the N-Gage, a system I wanted to like because it would be an international phone, AND a gaming console, so I could keep in touch while I was in Japan.

    Guess what? Phone coverage doesn't include Japan. Also, the screen is way too freaking small, and the controls are phone controls. So...I can't use it for the reasons I wanted to use the phone, and I can't use it as a viable gaming system. Back to 1000 yen phone cards, and putting my GBA in my carry-on.

    Then we have the Phantom...which "unveiled"itself to show...nothing. No actual console, no nothing. What should we be giving a shot, exactly? The wholesale shunning of product in exchange for an all-hype, no-substance world? Gimme a break GameSpy. You guys are right up there with InsertCredit now.
  • Two Way Street (Score:3, Insightful)

    by superultra ( 670002 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @07:04PM (#6854524) Homepage
    Gamers are enthusiasts. Sure, there are the fanboys that are predisposed to criticizing anything except for [insert random console or - gasp - operating system - here], but by and large gamers are interested in, well, games.

    There are several products that fall right in the vein of the N-Gage and the Phantom that gamers never vehomently criticized. The late Indreama was received fairly well by both press and public. The Wonderswan remains a cult hit.
    Gamers are generally excited about anything new.

    But here's the thing. In regards to the N-gage, from the get-go Nokia has shown obliviously but inadvertantly flanted their ignorance of games, ranging from a website ripped straight from A&F, to outright insulting Nintendo. Moreover, the basic fundamental design of the portable reveals that it was not designed by anyone who had ever really played games, just looked at people playing games. The appearance of a Sony handheld on the horizon doesn't help either.

    With the Phantom, what do you expect? It's called the *Phantom*. What's more, only one journalist claims to have actually seen it. It's pricey - $300 for the bottom of the line - and will be launching (snicker) at a time when the consoles will be no more than $100 a piece. Also, having an actual physical address and not swearing at story investigators over the phone might help.

    Before we can take these newcomers seriously, they have to take us seriously. I think gamers are generally inclined to accept new things merely for the sake of novelty. Hell, look at how many gamers buy games on the first day before reviews even hit the web.

    What does the N-gage have to do? Get more than rehash games. And dear god, fix that battery/cartridge issue. Stop advertising like you're mountain dew (for a good example, see Sony's ad campaigns)

    The Phantom? Make a console and show it to more than one person.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!