N-Gage... DOA?

$299 for a gameplaying cell phone. Games for $30-$40. Sorry, I just don’t see anyone getting too excited about this.

http://www.gamespot.com/all/news/news_6027638.html

–Dave

Thats if you buy it without service. Most cell phones if bought without service are $100-$300 dollars now. I imagine that this device will be much cheaper if bought with a service contract.

It’s also an MP3 player, video player, radio, PDA, wireless Internet access device, yadda yadda…

$299 is expensive compared to a GBA. It’s not expensive compared to a color cell phone with high-speed data support. You’re comparing it to the GBA, when you should in fact be comparing it to a high-end cell phone from Sony-Ericcson.

That said, I think the “look” will kill it. Lots of middle-class businesspeople are buying high-end color cell phones to play some truly crappy games. But they’re not going to buy one that looks like a GBA. I think the TapWave approach, where the device looks and functions like a PDA, but will also play killer games, is better.

(And somewhere there’s a parallel universe where the thing says “Nintendo” on it instead of “Nokia,” and Dave loves it. :-)

Their trying to play in nintendo’s backyard, people arn’t going to be buying it for it’s phone capabilities. If they want to play in nintendo’s back yard they better be competatively priced. I predict the price will come down pretty fast to $199. So don’t all go out and buy one. Nokia will realize the same thing all the other console makers realize, the money is in the software. :)

$299 for all those features wouldn’t be so much of a bad thing if the game software lineup was good enough.

Unfortunately for the case of N-gage, it isn’t. Especially with the power of Sony competing in 2004.

Even at $199, that’s pricey. Nintendo’s handheld is $99.99. You can get the original GBA for even less. Games are anywhere from $10 to $35 at the most. Nintendo’s standard price point now for GBA games is $30. I just don’t think there’s a market for it.

–Dave

N-Gage is a dumb idea, and it will fail.

I was heartened to see that Nintendo’s stock dropped 10% on the announcement that Sony is introducing a handheld game device.

Without the no-competition GBA cash cow, Nintendo could be in real trouble.

No one’s going to buy a phone to play games.

I’m irritated today, so whats with all the clueless marketing fuckwits that talk like they can do well in business areas that they have absolutely no fucking clue about.

Thank you all for aiding in my venting process so I don’t turn green and wreck the joint.

Not so:

Mobile Gaming generates REVENUE! (Source: January 2003 http://www.leavcom.com/ieee_jan03.htm)

  • According to researchers Frost & Sullivan, US wireless gaming revenues were $436.4 million in 2001 and by 2006, are expected to generate $17.5 billion in annual revenue worldwide.
  • By 2005, 80 percent of all mobile users in the US and Western Europe will play mobile games at least occasionally.

From an E3 press release I got today.

Now, that $17.5 billion number is hooey – the entire game market now is $11 billion according to the same release.

But carriers are already brining in lots of revenue from mobile phone games, despite the fact that, with the exception of Tetris, they universally suck.

Not so:

Mobile Gaming generates REVENUE! (Source: January 2003 http://www.leavcom.com/ieee_jan03.htm)

  • According to researchers Frost & Sullivan, US wireless gaming revenues were $436.4 million in 2001 and by 2006, are expected to generate $17.5 billion in annual revenue worldwide.
  • By 2005, 80 percent of all mobile users in the US and Western Europe will play mobile games at least occasionally.

From an E3 press release I got today.

Now, that $17.5 billion number is hooey – the entire game market now is $11 billion according to the same release.

But carriers are already brining in lots of revenue from mobile phone games, despite the fact that, with the exception of Tetris, they universally suck.[/quote]

The games suck – people aren’t buying the phones to play the games – the phones have the crappy games and because people are bored, they play the games in the first place on the device they have in their pocket in the first place.

Me, I have a PDA in my pocket. I play Joust on it. I spent money for it. I am always on the lookout for good games to play on my PDA, and like I said in the other thread, that’s the PC/Console debate of the portable area, not phones that companies are badly grafting cameras, walkie talkies, TVs, and games consoles on in a vain effort to create more demand for saturated market where everyone can already do what they really want – call people on the goddamn phone.

Take it easy on the bold there, cap’n.

Sorry, I’m channeling John Dvorak and adding more profanity. I find it soothing actually.

The question is, what do they consider “wireless gaming revenue”? If I buy a cell phone for $100 that just so happens to be able to play solitaire, is that $100 considered mobile gaming revenue? Even though I bought it for the phone and just so happen to play solitaire on it when I’m waiting in the doctor’s office?

I honestly would find it surprising if people spent $400+ million on cell phone games last year. Although I don’t keep up on current trends, so maybe there is some kind of wireless gaming revolution that I don’t know about.

I’d like to hear how Europeans and Japanese see this. Their geek culture are a lot more open to cell phone tech. Hell, we are still in the dark ages when it comes to ring tones in North America.

[Wrong word edit]

I’m surprised no one has ported the MAME to a cell phone yet. Talk about killer app…

  • Alan

But cell phones are closed platforms for a variety of reasons, some technical, some not. Combo PDAs/phones don’t count here, because few people have those. Yes, Microsoft is attempting to get into the phone business over in Europe, but from what I gather, their phone sucks. Actually, I gather that the UI on most all of the new-fangled phones all suck.

I think Apple should make cell phones.

And yes, I do want to know what counts as wireless gaming revenue. Do calls placed to bookies on a cel phone count?

So they can cost twice as much as they do now and have pretty interfaces that hide all the features?

Look at all the hard-drive based MP3 players out there. Which one’s the best? Apple’s.

Yeah, ok so it costs a lot, but Apple goes for simplicity – and that needs to bleed out into the rest of the world. A recent article I read pointed out how damn annoying all the “smart phones” were to use, and someone needs to show up and make something that just illustrates how damn frustating it is to use some of this stuff.

They make nice computer cases too. Too bad the game selection over there sucks.

I played around with this today both at the Nokia booth and at some developer booths showcasing portable games. I must admit to NOT being impressed. I had more fun on traditional cell phones than this weirdly designed thingy.