San Jose Mercury News Disses N-Gage

october 2, 2003

Mike Langberg, not my favourite writer for the SJ Mercury (check out his smug grin on his picture), writes an article that trashes the Nokia N-Gage. And while I agree with him on many of his points -- like why the hell should I slide open the back of my game unit and slide out the battery in order to change a game is beyond me -- there was something in the article that just stood out as "What the hell are you talking about Langberg?" Langberg writes, "[i]N-Gage will come with a SIM card that launches a 30-day free trial from T-Mobile, which uses Cingular's inferior network in Northern California. I'd strongly recommend that San Francisco Bay Area residents interested in N-Gage instead get service from AT&T Wireless.[/i]" Huh? AT&T WS is just starting to build out their GSM network here in NorCal, unlike Cingular who's been here for years and are well established. My experiences with T-Mobile is that they have excellent coverage up here in NorCal. Maybe Langberg is thinking of old technology that maybe more of his schooling, like the old AT&T WS TDMA network (that used to be CellularOne) which has excellent coverage here in NorCal. I don't know. Otherwise, I think Langberg is right about the Nokia N-Gage. It is too expensive -- hell, my GBASP costs only $99 and the N-Gage is $299! It is too weird -- holding the phone narrowside to ear will look just plain weird. It has no good launch games. Who uses MMC cards anymore? And with the TapWave Zodiac right about to launch and the Sony Playstation Portable right on the horizon, does the N-Gage actually have a surviving chance? Nah.