Right now, you can get N-gage game compatible phones on the cheap - even cheaper than the iPod Shuffle! But for that you'll get the previous generation models only, the original N-gage phone and the N-gage QD. These units haven't been in production for years, so the best you can expect of them is to have a few faulty backlights and keypad buttons. It seems the only way to get a taste of N-gage gaming these days is to buy a brand new Nokia phone and just forget the last generation altogether. But the base Nokia model for the N-gage platform today is the Nokia N73, which sells for well over $300 (or P12,000). Should the next generation of kick-ass portable gaming be so prohibitive in terms of price? I think Nokia should think twice.
Personally, I've been thinking about getting the old N-gage QD from Ebay even if just for its ability to play movies for over 5 hours. Plus it's way way cheap when compared to the PSP or iPod Nano (which are both better in everything the Nokia N-gage does by the way, except for making calls and texting, of course.) But new generation Nokia models have been launched with the ability to play all current versions of N-gage games, and quite possibly all the future ones too. For example, the Nokia N73 was launched as a smartphone with robust multimedia features, but N-gage game compatibility was shipped with it on the side. It costs upwards of $300 and it's the cheapest one you can order. And don't even let me start about the Nokia N95 8GB, or the click-wheel endowed Nokia N81, for these are all great phones but they're undeniably expensive and would keep more portable gaming aficionados out of the loop. I wonder why Nokia keeps shipping their high-end phones with gaming platforms now. I don't thinks it's likely that those deep-pocketed, brainless folk will connect to the online N-gage Arena. Games are for kids anyway, so why don't they start churning out gaming phones for the budget of kids? Makes me want to wait until Apple starts selling game consoles then.