N-Gage QD Q&A
The Nokia N-Gage was probably one of the more hyped products at E3 last year but the N-Gage did not do as well as Nokia had hoped so they went back to the drawing board and came up with the Nokia QD, a smaller, leaner version of the original N-Gage. There’s been a lot of speculation about what the new product does and doesn’t do so we fired off some questions about the new device to Will Willis, a spokesman for Nokia to see what the deal was.
GamingNexus: How does the device compare size and weight wise to the original N-Gage?
Will Willis The N-Gage QD is 20 percent smaller than the original N-Gage. The original N-Gage is 5.26 x 2.74 x .80 inches while N-Gage QD is 4.65 x 2.68 x .87 inches, so overall smaller but slightly thicker. Weight-wise, the N-Gage is 4.83 oz versus N-Gage QD's weight of 4.7 oz.
GamingNexus: Does QD stand for anything?
Will Willis QD is generally a marketing designation, but the combination of letters works internationally in many different languages. Also, some have said that since you can carry your N-Gage device with you all the time so that it's easy to play whenever you want, every day, it's reminiscent of the Latin term for "every day": quaque die -- or QD.
GamingNexus: What were the most important lessons learned from the release of the first device?
Will Willis The launch of the original N-Gage brought forth a lot of feedback from gamers that we clearly listened to when designing N-Gage QD. Things like the hot-swap MMC card slot, battery life, and a more traditional phone talking style were addressed. As we get more feedback from gamers on N-Gage QD, you can expect we'll keep listening for new features down the road.
GamingNexus: What are the biggest improvements in the QD over the original N-Gage?
Will Willis As mentioned, a smaller form factor, inclusion of a hot-swap MMC card slot, a classic-talking profile, and longer batter life all make N-Gage QD great. Also, the display brightness and performance of the screen on N-Gage QD have been enhanced to make it the best in its class of handheld devices.
GamingNexus: Will cartridges be easier to insert than in the original device?
Will Willis Yes. All you have to do is slide one MMC card out and slide another MMC card in using the hot-swap MMC card slot located on the bottom of the N-Gage QD.
GamingNexus: Are there any major QD only games or will the library be based on ports of existing games?
Will Willis There will be no games exclusive to N-Gage QD -- all games will be playable on both N-Gage and N-Gage QD, and games that have previously come out for N-Gage are playable on N-Gage QD as well. Upcoming games will be a mix of never before seen first-party titles that really push the mobile online gaming capabilities of N-Gage, and blockbuster games that gamers have come to know and love.GamingNexus: Will the QD be able to play original N-Gage games?
Will Willis Yes.
GamingNexus: Will the device come with any games out of the box?
Will Willis There won't be any games included in the box, but there will be bundle deals. For example, for $199 you can by an N-Gage QD with Tony Hawk Pro Skater, or for $179 you can buy the N-Gage QD on its own. Of course, retailers may choose to include a game for free.
GamingNexus: Is the QD a phone that plays games or a gaming device that can be a cell phone?
Will Willis The N-Gage QD is a game device first and foremost. The phone is definitely a great feature and one that a lot of people will use, but the N-Gage QD was designed for gamers first.
GamingNexus: What's your favorite new function in the QD?
Will Willis There are two things that make the N-Gage QD rock. The extended battery life is the first thing. With almost 10 hours of game play, I will be able to play for entire flight from LA to Dallas and still have juice to make calls when I hit the ground. The second thing that I like is the overall size of the device. It's 20 percent smaller and seems like from its core it was designed for gaming.
GamingNexus: What kind of Bluetooth connectivity will the QD support? Will gamers be able to use Bluetooth headsets?
Will Willis Bluetooth is supported in N-Gage games for close quarter action -- for example, in Ashen, a first-person shooter, players can use Bluetooth to play deathmatches against each other, or in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004, players can play a round of golf together over Bluetooth. N-Gage QD also supports the use of a Bluetooth headset.
GamingNexus: How much will the QD cost in comparison to the original N-Gage?
Will Willis The original N-Gage currently sells for $199 with a mail-in rebate. The N-Gage QD will cost $199 with a bundled game, or $179 without.
GamingNexus: When can we expect the new games (like Ashen) to hit stores?
Will Willis Ashen, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 and The Sims Bustin' Out can be expected in May and June. You'll also have a chance to test them out at E3 if you plan on attending.
GamingNexus: Is there a trade-up plan available for original N-Gage owners?
Will Willis As for a trade-up or trade-in program, Nokia hasn't announced any program, although retailers may offer some sort of trade-in program on their own.
I’d like to thank Mr. Willis for taking the time to talk to us. We’re going to have to check out the QD this year at E3 to see if the newer version finally delivers on the promised of it’s predecessor.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.