If Costa wants hardware designed for gaming, he should move into the console business. Nokia shouldn't be designing phones for gaming because people don't buy the phones for gaming.
The controls do not need "sorting out" because phones aren't meant for games. They're not consoles, and most people don't want them to be consoles either.
It might come as something of a shock to game designers and game enthusiasts, but dedicated gaming hardware is very unpopular. Consoles play games well but they sell in absolutely tiny quantities compared to phones. Consoles sell perhaps 50 million a year added together, but phones sell over 1000 million a year. Consoles are a niche item, they're NOT a mainstream product. How many people in the developing world use consoles? How many elderly people? How many Windows Minesweeper addicts actually buy dedicated gaming hardware?
Phones are becoming cheaper and cheaper, smartphones too, but consoles and their games remain the same unreachable price. It's actually cheaper now to buy a brand new sim-free unlocked phone than to buy one console game.
The one single trump card that N-Gage has, the only thing that gives it a chance to get to the top of the gaming world, is the potentially massive userbase from Nokia's huge phone sales (currently 400 million a year and rising). If S60 eventually spreads to all their phones, and N-Gage is eventually on all S60 models, that would allow hundreds of millions of people to buy and play these games.
If you start compromising the phone design for the sake of gaming, you might end up throwing away those massive sales which were the only thing justifying the gaming platform in the first place.
A good phone game designer realises this and works with what they've got, they don't wish they were designing for a console. Does it really matter in phone games whether diagonal movement comes from software or hardware? Most good phone games don't even require diagonal movement.
You could of course come up with a gaming-oriented phone, but the vast majority of phone gamers would continue using ordinary phones, so how would that help the developer?
I can already see that the new Ngage will go the way of its predecessor - a lack of games support
You can see nothing of the kind, because the new N-Gage platform hasn't really launched yet, and it isn't based around gaming hardware.
The strength of N-Gage will be when it's embedded in phones straight out of the box, which will give it a potential userbase of tens of millions, perhaps eventually hundreds of millions. It means people don't even have to know N-Gage exists in order to play it, because it will be there as an icon on their desktop by default.
People won't be buying those phones for N-Gage, so the quality and quantity of N-Gage games makes little difference to its userbase.
Nokia sold 50 million S60 phones last year, and over 400 million phones in total. These are big numbers, far bigger than console sales, so even if only a small fraction actually buy the games it will still be a respectable userbase.
This embedding won't happen until this autumn, so it's WAY too early to judge the success of N-Gage.
History has proven time and time again that just superior hardware does not sell a system (eg. Sega MS vs Nintendo Enterainment System). It is also the QUALITY software for the platform
Well, comparing N-Gage to consoles does totally miss the point.
Absolutely no one buys a phone for its games, they're buying it for the phone itself. That was arguably the biggest flaw with the original N-Gage, most people want a phone to primarily be a phone rather than a gaming device.
People might want to play games after they've bought the phone, which is where the new N-Gage and other phone gaming platforms come in, but the hardware sales themselves are NOT determined at all by the quality of the games because they're not gaming devices.
Selling a phone based on games would be like trying to sell a television based on the quality of its teletext/digital text: people want teletext as a feature, but it's not the primary thing they think about when choosing a TV.
4) You cannot seriously play anything arcade on a phone. How many times have you cursed pressing the menu button when "trying" to play Street fighter thru emulation?
You can play games very easily on a phone IF THEY'RE DESIGNED FOR THE PHONE.
Yes, if you just blindly port a controller-based game from a console onto a phone it will play awkwardly, but that's due to a lazy developer rather than any innate problem with phone gaming.
Games designed for phones like Creatures Of The Deep are very easy to play, because they have been created from the ground up to be used with the buttons and d-pad that you get on a typical model. The developers of COTD do nothing but phone games, so good phone controls are something they think about constantly during the game development process.
There's also the upcoming touch-based S60 models, which would allow exactly the same control systems as the DS. A lot of people were sceptical about the DS being able to handle mainstream games, many dismissed it as a novelty, but it did work, and if it worked on the DS it can work on phones too because they'll have a similar-size screen with a similar resolution.
Yes, there's no second screen on a phone, but most DS games hardly use the second screen anyway (for example Animal Crossing just has blue sky there most of the time with the occasional bonus balloon, and Nintendogs just has the status screen or a view of the puppies).