The Nokia N-Gage In Depth

The N-Gage Vs. The Game Boy Advance SP

by the NWR Staff - March 12, 2003, 2:23 pm PST

Vs. Game Boy Advance SP:

While I was playing Kart Racing, a Nokia employee (who will remain nameless to protect the innocent) came up to me to help answer my questions and walk me through the whole system. I asked him if he had used a Game Boy Advance SP, and he said he’d only seen it in pictures. So I handed him my SP with Mario Kart: Super Circuit so he could try it. It took about 30 seconds, and I think he was hooked. It must have been the, “Wow, this thing is so cool!” that he exclaimed that tipped me off, but I’m not sure.

SP vs N-Gage

Ok, the GBA SP isn’t a cell phone. It won’t check your e-mail, message your friends, or surf the web. But it does one thing really well, and that’s play games. The N-Gage does many different things, but so far on the gaming end of things, it’s currently mediocre at best, and the list of launch titles isn’t all that hot. There really isn’t a killer application needed to drive a new console. The difference is pretty staggering, especially when you put N-Gage titles like Pandemonium and Tomb Raider up to games in the GBA arsenal. The specs say the N-Gage is more powerful than the SP, but since some of the games we played were in emulation or really early ports, it didn’t look all that powerful. Speaking of emulation, since the N-Gage can download java games and applications, presumably someone could create a Java Game Boy Emulator.

The screen on the SP is also better for gaming, in my opinion, with a wide screen instead of a vertical one. Plus the SP allows more colors - 32,768 colors versus the N-Gage’s 4096. The N-Gage may have a more powerful processor, but I really haven't seen anything mind-blowing, game wise.

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