I been saying for the past couple of months that the N-Gage's future looks bright and there are some games well worth playing. For example, Ashpalt GT is shaping up a lot better on the N-Gage after it's letdown on the DS.
The N-Gage wasn't perfect, and it launched onto a bit of a rocky road. But Nokia has come back in surprisingly strong form and is out to prove that it will revise content, system and goals to match the demands of the users. When I first previewed the N-Gage titles for IGN at E3 in 2003, I was amazed by the graphics and what was being thrown onscreen. But the games just didn't play that well on the system. It felt like novelty in capability.
The N-Gage QD and the evolution of the titles in regard to gameplay show a great deal of innovation and revision. Very rarely will you find a system manufacturer willing to stop on a dime and reconfigure everything because of user comments. Is the N-Gage QD the best handheld system out there? I wouldn't even wager a guess because the market has shifted so much now that there are no direct competitors anymore. The only competition is in the fact that gamers have limited amounts of green in their wallet.
As a phone-enabled gaming device though, I think the N-Gage QD has tremendous potential. Nokia has bounced back from a difficult launch and tackled the issues head-on, both in terms of system design and gameplay. Gamers have always been somewhat at the mercy of the companies they support, and Nokia seems very different in that respect now. The N-Gage is a system that won't replace your other handhelds and consoles. It's not a 'GBA-killer' but it's the most adaptive system currently on the market. And whereas a year ago, possibly even last May, I would have been hesitant to recommend the platform, I would say that my outlook has shifted to very optimistic at this point. If Nokia can deliver on their plans, the N-Gage should stand the test of time.