Yes, yes – I know that it hasn't sold squat and Nokia is planning to phase it out, but just listen a moment.
As a pure handheld gaming device, I'd be hard pressed to defend it. Less than cutting edge (but serviceable) graphics. Small library of worthwhile games. Developers deserting the platform. Not good news.
However, if you're a gamer, and you need to buy a phone, you could do worse than pick up a QD. At about Rs.10,000/-, ( this could come down drastically – Nokia has just slashed the US price to $99) it's a more than decent phone and a superb handheld gaming device. When you look at the whole package, suddenly, it starts to look a lot better.
I've played games on the PC and Xbox for years, and I don't play crappy titles for more than a few minutes. Take it from me, Pathway to Glory, Colin McRae 2005 and Worms World Party are great titles by any standards, and will give you hours of quality gameplay. Ghost Recon, Asphalt and FIFA 2005 are a blast as well. Oh – and I almost forgot the 3-D take on the ubiquitous Snake – an N-gage exclusive that is the best thing Nokia's done in years.The game-centric design also makes the N-Gage the best place to enjoy the many superb Java Mobile games available. I spent several happy hours with Ancient Empires and Prince of Persia – playing these games on regular phones just isn't the same. There are several promising titles lined up for release as well – so you'd be set for another year at least.
Bluetooth connectivity is available for some super multiplayer bigfun.
Of course, being a multinational corporate behemoth, Nokia doesn't care about their customers. Why else would they launch the N-gage in India and make the games horribly difficult to get? Walk into a Nokia dealer and ask for N-gage titles, get a free blank stare. Ludicrous.
Luckily, help is at hand. You can get all the best games over P2P and Bluetooth them to your phone's MMC using the excellent software that comes bundled with the N-Gage.
Naturally, we wouldn't have to resort to this if Nokia had condescended to make the games available.
You can also watch videos and play MP3s – the sound isn't great but it isn't bad either. Some basic PDA features – notepad, task lists, reminders, contacts – round off the package.
In summary – Gamer? Buying a phone? Get a QD. Great value for money.