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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

UK Retailers Report Disappointing N-Gage Sales 62

Thanks to for their article indicating that UK videogame retailers are showing extremely low sell-through of Nokia's new N-Gage game deck in its launch week. Although US sales figures are still pending, "fewer than 500 units [were] sold by the 6,000 [UK] game stores polled by Chart-Track." GI.Biz note that, though "these figures don't include sales from mobile phone stores, which might well be expected to shift a few units of the N-Gage, they still spell out something of a setback for Nokia's ambitions in the console space", since "Nintendo's Game Boy Advance hardware outsold the N-Gage by a ratio of almost 30:1."
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UK Retailers Report Disappointing N-Gage Sales

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    the new ad campaign slogan can be "Whether talking on your phone, or satisfying your hunger: Hold a taco to your head!"
    • NO KIDDING. I thought it might be a kinda nifty gadget if I didn't want to carry my GBA SP, but holy crap. I'd never talk on that thing.

      For those that don't get it, to talk on this behemoth without a hands-free of some sort, you hold the NARROW TOP EDGE to your head, and the screen points the same direction as your head does. A pair of these and you could go out as Dumbo this year. Combine that with the dismal launch titles and the fact that you have to disassemble the phone to change games, and this i
    • Yeah, I never would've guessed they'd sell that much! Nokia Tacos Takeover [] Shameless self plug
  • I never would've guessed that an over-hyped product that runs games at 20fps wouldn't have sold well!

    These people need to learn that many consumers have geeks like us as friends who can recognized a truly terrible product and tell them about it.

    No sales = dissapointed.
    • Not to mention the $300 price tag. I guess they think people should buy it just because it's new. It's like if I were headed to the store, i'd be thinking, hmm, I have $350 to spend on a portable game system. I can either buy a Gameboy SP and like 5 or so games, or I can buy this new taco-shaped N-Gage and one game. Decisions, decisions...
    • $15 dollars, just like the Virtual Boy.

    • These people need to learn that many consumers have geeks like us as friends who can recognized a truly terrible product and tell them about it.

      This is what I don't get. Why can't companies like this take a hint when people in their customer base raise the red flag early on?

      All they'd have to do is seek out a hundred geeks, invite them to evaluate a product description, and they'd have their answer and would have saved themselves a few million dollars.
    • These people need to learn that many consumers have geeks like us as friends who can recognized a truly terrible product and tell them about it.

      It doesn't even take a geek. My girlfriend's 10-year-old brother saw the commercial on TV earlier this week and asked me if that was new. When I said yes, he said 'it looks stupid'.

      This from a kid that plays Tony Hawk Pro Skater all the time, which is of course one of the games they advertise. He never even asked how much it was or any of the specs, just saw the
  • junk junk junk

    GMR gave it a 3 of 10... and thats cuz the phone part works.. haha anyone know what crappy game informer gave it? proably an 8 i guess.
  • The fact that you have to remove the battery to change games is a glaring oversite. I haven't actually done this with an N-Gage but to me that is a ridiculous idea, what was Nokia thinking? I for one won't be buying one of those metal Tacos. ;)
  • I'm actually very pleased that people haven't wasted their money on a product that (by all accounts) sucks.

    It's very reassuring that word of mouth has given consumers the power to whack stupid companies like Nokia with a hefty cluestick.
  • Looks like the next logical step for Nokia is to sue IBM.
  • Maybe I don't watch as much TV as some, but where has the press coverage been in the UK? I haven't noticed any signifigant stories in the papers either. It's almost as if they want the thing to die a quiet death so they can sweep it under the carpet and move on.

    You do have to wonder why anyone would buy such an ugly piece of kit that has no killer app games, tries to be a phone too (I have a phone already ta) and results in a huge number of horrible buttons.

    When instead you could have a shiny silver GBA

    • I was leafing through a Stuff Games magazine (mostly because of the hot chick on the cover... I didn't know there was such a thing), and EVERY single spread (two pages), I kid you not, there was an advert for the N-Gage. Every blasted page. This included the cover and the back of the mag. I couldn't find a single advertisement *not* from Nokia. I was astounded.
      • (mostly because of the hot chick on the cover... I didn't know there was such a thing)...

        Ya, ya, I know, I need to get out more. In the aboveworld, so they tell me, hot chicks hang out on every street corner...

    • I think you could buy more like 4 shiny silver GBA SPs, and then go hog wild with Zelda 4 swords.

      It's rare to see such a poorly designed product marketed so heavily. I hope this sends a message to the marketing clowns at Nokia (and everywhere else) that people are stupid, but not THAT stupid.
    • Maybe I don't watch as much TV as some, but where has the press coverage been in the UK? I haven't noticed any signifigant stories in the papers either. It's almost as if they want the thing to die a quiet death so they can sweep it under the carpet and move on.

      Newspapers don't report on every single piece of consumer electronics on the market. They report on the consumer electronics that they think their readers will find interesting, which are usually the ones that have lots of clever features that all
    • and there was a teaser poster campaign.

      The Advertising line is show some crappy venue and add the tag line "here's where I got killed" or "here's where I got my revenge" to show off the multi-player bluetooth aspect.

      They feature no actual game footage iirc.

      Probably because Tomb Raider on your phone isn't going to make anyone part with their cash.

  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @06:30PM (#7224406) Homepage
    A little leading cellular handset company had a long list of shareholders to satisfy.

    Her products sold very well until the market was saturated. But then, no matter how hard she tried; she could not satisfy her investors and debtors.

    She pulled, and she pulled. She puffed and she puffed. She chopped lines and started up others. Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo!

    But no! The company would not return to easy profits.

    At last she left her primary market and ventured out alone. Do you think she had stopped working? No, indeed! She was going for help.

    "Surely I can find something to help me," she thought.

    Over the markets and up to trade shows the little company rolled. Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo!

    Pretty soon she saw a fat networking business standing on a sidetrack. He looked very rich and strong. Running alongside, she looked up and said,

    "Will you help me get over this dip quickly with my shareholders in tow? The slow road to profit is so long and so steep."

    The big networking business looked down at the little handset company. Then he said, " Don't you see that I am through with my own work? I have been all buffeted and scarred and am waiting for my white knight. No, I cannot help you."

    The handset company was sorry, but she went on. Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo!

    Soon she cam to a second large multinational MP3 player market standing on a sidetrack. He was puffing and puffing, as if he were tired.

    "He may help me," thought the little company. She ran alongside and asked,

    "Will you help me over this ditch with my shareholders and debtors? Single-digit profits just don't satisfy like they used to."

    Then the second big market answered,

    "I have just come in from a 4 year long sprint. Don't you see how saturated I am? Can't you get some other market to help you this time?"

    "I'll try," said the little company, and off she went. Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo!

    After a little while she came to a consumer electronics market just like herself (she thought). She ran alongside and said,

    "Will you help me through the downturn with my shareholders and debt? A company this hip should see easy growth even in a downturn."

    "Yes, indeed!" said the market for handheld gaming systems. "I'll be glad to help anyone I can. Just make a great system and easy money will roll in."

    So the little company started back to where the impatient shareholders had been standing all this time, poking at their PDA devices. The little company aligned itself with what it thought was the market, and headed out.

    Puff, puff! Chug, Chug! Choo, Choo! Off they started!

    Slowly the company began to move. Slowly they developed hardware and software. As they climbed, the little company began to sing,

    "I - think - I - can! I - think - I - can!
    I - think - I - can! I - think - I - can!
    I - think - I - can! I - think - I - can!
    I - think - I - can! I - think - I - can!..."

    The little handset company brought in experts from all fields. The little handset company built prototypes, models, and licensing agreements. The little handset company kept hyping away at the market.

    I - think - I - can! I - think - I - can!

    People came from all around. They pointed at the little company and said "You'll never make it." "Your hardware is inferior." "How do you even put the cartridge in?"

    I - think - I - can! I - think - I - can!

    The little company ignored the naysayers, and pushed forth. They worked trade shows, padded their game linup, bought sure hits like Tony Hawk and Super Monkey Ball. And they never stopped believing in themselves.

    "What do you think you are doing?"
    "I - think - I - can! I - think - I - can!"

    The worst of the market was behind them. Their stock prices rose and rose! They were going to make it! Their agressive marketing policy and never-say-die attitude was paying
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @06:43PM (#7224528) Homepage Journal
    Gentleman, set your faces to stun.
  • Their marketing in Europe certainly hasn't been too fantastic or informative - I've already seen a few N-Gage games on eBay that people mistakenly purchased believing they were compatible with other Nokia phones, and then couldn't get refunded on.
  • Blah blah blah "have to take out the battery..." At this point, that's not what's preventing me from getting one. The primary reason I get the consoles I do are the games it runs. And so far, I haven't seen much for the N-Gage that's piqued my interest. I've long since passed beyond my puzzle game phase years ago, Lara Croft doesn't do anything for me, and if I wanted to play a Sonic game I already have a GBA and a GCN.

    Beyond that, the only other thing keeping me from getting one is my happiness with S
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dear Nokia,

    Just about any gamer would have candidly told you why they would be avoiding it and why they thought it would fail.

    * No groundbreaking games. Nobody cares about Tomb Raider anymore. 3D games can work (or, more accurately 2.5D games like the amazing Doom 2 Gameboy Advance port), but for the most part 2D games are much easier to play on the move, doubly so if they are turn-based.

    * The design is clunky. Certain aspects are too small (screen), others just bad (buttons, loading carts).

    * Wrong medi
  • Our store hasn't sold a single one yet, and it is hard to get customers interested when, ahem, the 'interactive unit' kept crashing and is now permenantly stuck on the white screen of doing-nothing-at-all. It doesn't inspire confidence.
  • Its not just the Hardware, the software sucks too.
    This review of an N-gage game from gamespot says it all..."Oversights" seems to be the word of choice to describe the N-gage...

    There really isn't much to say about Puzzle Bobble VS other than that it is a complete and utter mess. Puzzle Bobble seems to be one of those games that would be incredibly difficult to mess up, but the N-Gage version of the game proves that even the simplest and most street-tested gameplay concept can be ruined by a few key ove
  • The local EB sold one! First in their district! Go 872!

    It was returned a few days later, the radio didn't work. First one sold was defective. No problem, exchanged for another one, and he left happy.

    Still, way to go Nokia.

  • I've got one of the latest DoCoMo phones, a P505i

    NGage screen: 176x208x12bit
    P505i screen: 240x320x16bit (wife's is 22bit or so) + mini backscreen

    NGage games: Tries proper games, pretends to be Gameboy
    P505i games: Lots of simple games, ideal for idle minutes on trains

    NGage storage: MMC, dismantle to insert
    P505i storage: mini-SD included in price, remove small rubber cover to access

    NGage camera: Err...
    P505i camera: 310,000 pixels (wife has 1Mpix+), two lenses

    NGage audio: Polyphonic
    P505i audio: 48 voices
  • You have to be kidding right? Having no sales would have been as expected. Have any sales would be just plain lucky. Disappointing is not an outcome they should have been expecting at all. I hope these outlets selling the N-Gage are selling them on consignment.
  • N gauge [] is perfect for setting around the christmas tree.
  • The only thing disappointing about these figures is the fact that they've even sold 500. One or two would be excusable, but there really can't be 500 people stupid enough to actually want one of these AND that have the money to purchase one.
    • You have to remember, though, that it's 500 units out of 6000 locations selling them. So one in every 12 stores has someone wander in and accidentally buy an N-Gage, or get sucked in by the notably lackluster sales pitch given by someone that's practically begging you not to buy one.
  • I live in Dublin (admittedly, not in the UK, but mighty close geographically) and I've recently seen adverts for the n-Gage at bus stops, etc. But I haven't a clue what it's about. I think Nokia's done a dreadful job raising awareness of what the thing is, and why I might want it.

Truth is free, but information costs.