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Is the Nokia N-Gage dead now? Nokia expands gaming platform to smartphone
Posted on 18-May-2005 13:24. | Tags Filed under: News.

Is the Nokia N-Gage dead now? Nokia expands gaming platform to smartphone
Nokia is working on its evolution of connected mobile gaming, which the company says will make it easy to search for, purchase and play high-quality mobile games using a range of Nokia smartphones. Currently Nokia smartphones are based on Symbian OS, using the Series 60 user interface.

According to the company, the aim of this next generation of mobile gaming is to expand the N-Gage platform's connected multiplayer experience across a wide range of Nokia's multimedia devices.

Leveraging the processing power available in today's smartphones, Nokia's next generation mobile gaming solution includes enhanced 3D game graphics capability and offers user-friendly search, purchase and installation of high-quality rich games as well as connected gaming with instant access to a global mobile gaming community called N-Gage Arena. The solution works with a number of different Nokia smartphones, thus giving consumers the freedom to choose a multimedia device that best suits their individual needs.

"Over the past two years, we've seen the mobile gaming market grow by leaps and bounds both in terms of market interest and customer expectations," said Gerard Wiener, Director and General Manager, Games, Nokia. "With the N-Gage platform, we've been able to deliver a superior gaming experience to mobile gamers, but only on a small range of devices. Now we want to expand rich, connected mobile gaming across the Nokia smartphone range. In 2005, we expect to sell 25 million smartphones and we see the global smartphone market exceeding 250 million devices in 2008. We can continue with our N-Gage offering while helping to drive the adoption of mobile connected gaming at a broader level."

The first Nokia smartphones to support the new Nokia mobile gaming solution are expected to be in the market during the first half of 2006. Additional information on the title launch portfolio is expected to be available in September 2005. The goal is to have a broad spectrum of games to suit all tastes - from casual 'quick fix' gaming to more in-depth multi-user games.

When consumers buy a Nokia smartphone that supports the new Nokia mobile gaming solution, they gain access to their favorite games through their smartphone or their personal computer. Games have been certified to provide a consistent experience, ensuring a quality rich entertainment experience that consumers can count upon. Consumers can manage their mobile game collection via their PC, with an individual locker of purchased games to make it easy and reliable to track purchases or reinstall deleted games.

For developers, this means less effort spent creating dozens of versions of the same game. We will provide a robust development environment with the first set of tools expected to be available in Q4 2005 and a range of APIs native to the smartphone.

The Nokia N-Gage series of entertainment devices is not explicitly listed in the press information, so the question remains: is this the end of the N-Gage platform or just a move across from a gaming platform to a more integrated mobile device with a more convenient form factor? We'll have to wait and see more, next year.

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