While the adoption of mobile devices has been a bit of a feather in the cap for companies such as Nokia, getting people to purchase multifunction devices has not been as easy. Probably the most popular Nokia miss in recent memory is the N-Gage and N-Gage 2 devices, which tried to combine telephony and gaming in one handset.
Even though its first attempts were a failure in the marketplace, Nokia has clearly learned some lessons and is set to release the N-Gage again, this time as a software platform that works with upcoming smartphones.
About the New N-Gage Gaming Platform
Rather than a device that takes hard to access memory cards as cartridges, Nokia is positioning N-Gage as a software service that will make it simple to find and download games for their mobile devices. A recent Nokia press release points to a pilot program beginning in February 2007 and running into mid-2007 that will test the experience and viability of the new N-gage platform.
The pilot program is being carried out in cooperation with the Finnish communications firm Elisa, which specializes in voice and data services, connections to the Internet, and network operator services. Elisa currently has an existing mobile gaming platform and plans to integrate it with Nokia’s N-Gage gaming platform.
The two companies aim to work together to bring improved game quality, better performance, and an intuitive way to get games as compared to the current means people find and download games for mobile devices.
What About Specific N-Gage Devices?s
Nokia is positing the N-Gage more as a service that works with its phones and multimedia computers, rather than a specialized device. Naturally, this will require devices that support the service. At least two Symbian S60-models devices to be released later this year will be able to connect to this new N-Gage gaming service.
In addition, as Brighthand reported earlier, there is a rumor of an upcoming model from this company that will be more designed around gaming, as it will include buttons for this specific purpose.