Another N-Gagement
Nokia follows up N-Gage with sleeker N-Gage QD game deck

Nokia is following up its N-Gage handheld gaming device with the smaller and better-designed N-Gage QD. You'll be able to take the QD for a test run at the company's booth and try out both single-player and multiplayer games via N-Gage Arena.

Games for the N-Gage and QD are playable on either device. The QD has an external MMC slot for swapping out games--once you pop in a card, the QD automatically loads the game. You can also hop into a game via the quick-start button on the D-pad.

The new device is 20 percent smaller than the original N-Gage and has a brighter screen and a longer battery life. Nokia promises up to 10 hours of life for gaming and up to four hours of talk time.

There will be more than 50 games released for the N-Gage/QD this year, including some mature titles such as Call of Duty and Ashen. Many of these games will be able to take advantage of the N-Gage's multiplayer capabilities, with 60 to 70 percent of them offering Bluetooth, wireless multiplayer, or both.

The QD has some new software built in, including the Arena Launcher, which makes it easier to find other players, check your stats, and get into multiplayer games.

Nokia has also made some improvements on the mobile-phone side of things. The QD lets you use the traditional cell-phone style of talking instead of the side-talk method of the N-Gage. The QD will sell for $199 and includes Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but Nokia says you'll be able to find price points as low as $99, depending on the service contract you sign up for.

BY JOEL STRAUCH


 
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