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Old 16-01-2009, 07:38 PM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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All About N-Gage takes a look at the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

The Nokia 5800 is now becoming available around the world, and with it the new Symbian S60 5th Edition operating system too. What is the 5800 like? Will N-Gage ever come to the 5800? How do games work on S60 5th Edition's touchscreen? And what about the upcoming N97? These questions and more are answered in AAN's special feature looking at this new phone and new interface.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 16-01-2009, 07:41 PM
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Just in case anyone missed it, WE DON'T KNOW IF N-GAGE WILL EVER COME TO THE 5800.

Do NOT expect the 5800 to get N-Gage, because there has been NO official statement that it will get N-Gage.

Thank you. :-)

The N97 is different though, Nokia has officially announced that as N-Gage compatible on several occasions, including press releases, so that's almost certain to get N-Gage.

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Old 17-01-2009, 02:38 AM
sandy_1988 sandy_1988 is offline
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N97 does not have graphics acceleration. And the first pool of N-Gage games do not support hardware acceleration anyway, so they are bound to suffer on a hi-res screen, unless they are worked upon.

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Old 17-01-2009, 03:21 AM
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Sandy, as far as I could tell there was uncertainty about whether the N97 would have graphics hardware or not. We'll soon find out for sure though.

Regarding alterations for adding hardware support, the current pool of games would have to be worked upon anyway if they're going to work on a touchscreen device with a 640x360 resolution. The only way to avoid alteration would be to put them in a small on-screen box, or scale them up somehow (but that might look quite pixelly and would leave blank bars at the side).

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Old 17-01-2009, 02:26 PM
sandy_1988 sandy_1988 is offline
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Quote:
Sandy, as far as I could tell there was uncertainty about whether the N97 would have graphics hardware or not. We'll soon find out for sure though.
Steve mentioned lack of hardware acceleration in N97 HERE. Also, other sources in internet point to the absence of the component in N97.


Regarding the current pool of N-Gage games, we don't actually know on how they perform on higher resolution screens, as Nokia has by far released it for QVGA devices only. If the games are multi-screen (i.e., they stretch according to the screen size), then I doubt there will be further development on them. If they run using a part of the screen, probably some work will be definitely done then.

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Old 17-01-2009, 03:13 PM
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While it does seems, from a number of statements, that there is no graphics co-processor in the N97 we don't have exact details. However it is more powerful than the 5800 from what I have been told.

IIRC, at Nokia World, I was told same family as the N95, but faster clock speed.

In other words nothing absolute certain yet!
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Old 17-01-2009, 04:16 PM
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Having played extensively both Bounce Boing Voyage for N-Gage on a N82 and Bounce Touch on a 5800 XM, I can say that, at least for this game, there's really no difference in responsiveness despite the big difference in screen resolution, and the lack of hw acceleration (which I believe Bounce doesn't use anyway) on the 5800 XM. The only problem with Bounce Touch are the controls, which are awkward to use, especially with fingers (it's slightly better with the stylus).

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Old 17-01-2009, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Regarding the current pool of N-Gage games, we don't actually know on how they perform on higher resolution screens,
We do know how one game performs. Bounce Touch on the 5800 is basically just Bounce Boing Voyage from N-Gage with fewer levels.

Playing the two versions side by side, the 5800 version is much jerkier as one would expect from having a 3D game with almost four times the resolution.


Quote:
Having played extensively both Bounce Boing Voyage for N-Gage on a N82 and Bounce Touch on a 5800 XM, I can say that, at least for this game, there's really no difference in responsiveness despite the big difference in screen resolution
I think there must be something wrong with your N82. :-) Were you running multiple apps while playing Bounce on the N82?

While writing the article I played Bounce N-Gage on the N95, 5320, and 5800 side by side. It was pretty smooth on the N95 and 5320, but the 5800 version was much jerkier. The difference was very clear, even when just looking around the game environment and not moving.

The 5800 has the same processor as the 5320, and a similar amount of free RAM, the only real difference (apart from OS version) is that the 5800 has to cope with a 640x360 screen instead of 320x240.

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Old 17-01-2009, 06:32 PM
sandy_1988 sandy_1988 is offline
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Quote:
We do know how one game performs. Bounce Touch on the 5800 is basically just Bounce Boing Voyage from N-Gage with fewer levels.

Playing the two versions side by side, the 5800 version is much jerkier as one would expect from having a 3D game with almost four times the resolution.
I actually meant that if the N-Gage games were just allowed to run by installing on 5800, as done in other compatible handsets (like N95). Probably, the extent of jerkiness that you mention is due to no code change at all. They just used the existing game (albeit by making it runnable on S60) to run on 5800. Thus, the 320x240 game became jerky on 640x360.
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Old 17-01-2009, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzer2 View Post
I think there must be something wrong with your N82. :-) Were you running multiple apps while playing Bounce on the N82?
No. The only difference that I can think of is that I always install my N-Gage games in the microSD card, while Bounce Touch came installed in the phone main memory.

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Old 18-01-2009, 01:37 AM
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BTW I'm not writing off the 5800 as a gaming device, most phone games are 2D and should run fine on the phone. It's just the higher end 3D stuff that worries me.


Quote:
They just used the existing game (albeit by making it runnable on S60)
Well, N-Gage games are already S60 games really. Or did you mean "runnable on S60 5th Edition"?

You're absolutely right that we should wait to see how games written specifically for S60 5th Edition perform, and I did mention this in the text of the article. Maybe stuff actually written for the 5800 will perform much better than games ported from older S60 3rd Edition devices.

However, at the moment the most likely explanation for the jerkiness does still seem to be a massive increase in resolution (almost four times the size) without any increase in processing power.


Quote:
No. The only difference that I can think of is that I always install my N-Gage games in the microSD card, while Bounce Touch came installed in the phone main memory.
I install games on a memory card too. Maybe your card is slower than mine?

Either way, have you tried running the games side by side?

BTW jerkiness is a very subjective thing. For example I think the game Midnight Pool isn't jerky at all, but my colleague Steve insists that it's very jerky, so there's obviously a lot of room for personal taste in these matters. :-)

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Old 18-01-2009, 04:54 AM
sandy_1988 sandy_1988 is offline
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Quote:
Well, N-Gage games are already S60 games really. Or did you mean "runnable on S60 5th Edition"?
Actually, N-Gage games RUN on S60 devices, but they have separate SDK, and separate runtime libraries than S60 games. Technically, they can't be run by S60, that's why the need of the application interface. Also, peeping into the game folders will reveal that, while other S60 games can be executed from an exe file, N-Gage games have specifically designed exev files as the executable. So, actually the N-Gage games run almost like emulation games do on S60 devices (I don't mean performance-wise, but in a programming perspective). If the runtime environment (the application) could be written for other platforms (not Java :P), the games would've worked.

And yeah, if you have to make any S60v3 game runnable on S60v5, you have to do some work on it, which, the developers don't seem to have done here.


Regarding jerkiness, did you think that Asphalt 3 was really jerky. It lacked the feeling of speed (after-all it's meant to be a furious racer), neither was it's graphics top-notch.

Last edited by sandy_1988; 18-01-2009 at 04:56 AM.

  #13  
Old 18-01-2009, 08:41 AM
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Angry there is no ngage 4 the 5800

the reason that make the nokia 5800 no ngage compatible
that the screen work with single toutch not multi toutch
so no on screen keypad , have 3 buttons on there ,nokia 97 have full buttons on it
so that is the reason

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Old 18-01-2009, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzer2 View Post
Either way, have you tried running the games side by side?

BTW jerkiness is a very subjective thing. For example I think the game Midnight Pool isn't jerky at all, but my colleague Steve insists that it's very jerky, so there's obviously a lot of room for personal taste in these matters. :-)
I've now run the games side-by-side, and I noticed a little jerkiness. But it's not something that jumps at you when you play the game, or that affects playability. As you say, it's a matter of personal taste, but IMHO you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
Regarding optimization: either they've not optimized the game for either platform, or they did for both. In the N-Gage version you can only move forward and back, while on the 5800 XM you can also move sideways. The more limited are your movements, the more you can optimize graphics. Also, Bounce Touch is not just like Boing Voyage with fewer levels. It has quite a few different levels. Levels in Boing Voyage which require precise timing in jumping would have been much more difficult in Touch, and were removed; and conversely, levels requiring strafing while running (in particular, the one before the last) would have been near impossible to play with the N-Gage version. The fact that they took time to design new levels for this version leads me to believe that they also spent some time to optimize both games for their respective platforms.

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Old 18-01-2009, 09:41 PM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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Quote:
the reason that make the nokia 5800 no ngage compatible
that the screen work with single toutch not multi toutch
Rubbish! :-)

The Nintendo DS has the best touchscreen games ever made, but it doesn't have multitouch.

You really don't need multitouch to do good touch-based games.


Quote:
so no on screen keypad , have 3 buttons on there ,nokia 97 have full buttons on it
so that is the reason
More rubbish. :-)

Current N-Gage games use the d-pad and only needs players to press one button at a time. There is no N-Gage game which requires multiple simultaneous button presses.

The 5800 has the accelerometer to substitute for the d-pad, four buttons (red, green, white, multimedia) and on-screen buttons too. That's more than enough controls for current games.



Quote:
I've now run the games side-by-side, and I noticed a little jerkiness. But it's not something that jumps at you when you play the game, or that affects playability. As you say, it's a matter of personal taste, but IMHO you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
As it's a matter of taste I think the only conclusion we can come it is ask whether it's good enough for the majority of potential N-Gage players.

If most people think the graphics are too jerky then they're too jerky. If most people think they're okay, then they're okay.

We'll see what happens in the future.


Quote:
Regarding jerkiness, did you think that Asphalt 3 was really jerky. It lacked the feeling of speed (after-all it's meant to be a furious racer), neither was it's graphics top-notch.
I thought it was jerky-ish, especially when there were a lot of items on-screen. But it wasn't written for N-Gage, it was a port of a multi-platform game and Gameloft's N-Gage titles have tended to be jerky (even something 2D like Block Breaker Deluxe).

System Rush Evolution and Bounce were written for N-Gage, and they were a LOT smoother than Asphalt 3.


Quote:
Technically, they can't be run by S60, that's why the need of the application interface.
Whatever you want to call the application interface, it can be installed (albeit unofficially) on practically any S60 3rd Edition device, but not on any other platform. I know this gets down to splitting hairs but to me that makes it a part of S60 3rd Edition.


Quote:
And yeah, if you have to make any S60v3 game runnable on S60v5, you have to do some work on it, which, the developers don't seem to have done here.
Well they must have done at least some work on it, as it does run on S60v5, but perhaps they didn't do enough work.

Even so, hugely increasing the screen resolution without increasing the processing power is a recipe for disaster when it comes to 3D graphics. Even the N97 seems to just have the processing power of the N95, which is a two year old phone now.

I'm NOT one of those people who wants the latest gadgets to have the latest hardware, but I do think they need to consider upgrading the processor and/or adding a graphics chip if they're serious about doing 3D games on S60 5th Edition phones.

The original gen N-Gage had a 176x208 screen with a 100mhz processor. S60 3rd Edition/Next Gen N-Gage has a 240x320 screen with a 369 mhz processor. Surely if they're going to go up to 360x640 they ought to upgrade the processor again, so that it can keep up? (Just for reference, 360x640 is a higher resolution than the PlayStation Portable, and the PSP relies heavily on graphics hardware for 3D games.)
 

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