This article covers Nokia’s plans in the mobile gaming space, as it promotes its “next gen” series but keeps the N-Gage brand going, “despite its poor associations for many games developers”. Nokia is far more reluctant to classify the N-Gage as a failure than — for example — the media, but it has admitted that there were far fewer of the handsets sold than it had hoped for. Still, while it wasn’t a raging success the N-gage wasn’t a failure in the same way the Gizmondo was a failure. I think one of the main problems with the N-gage was that it was released before Nokia became a convert to flip phones, which I think have more potential as a gaming device.
“The N-Gage and QD were not actually games consoles but standard Nokia Symbian Series 60 smartphones with horizontal casings, but with no specialist gaming hardware. The Next Gen platform, according to insiders, will consist of Series 60 3rd Edition smartphones, and will include the new games-specific software as well as optimized hardware…Their processors will run three or four times faster than those in the N-Gage, and many will have 3D graphics chips.”
I think the next attempt at N-gage and mobile gaming by Nokia will be more successful because of the community aspects included in the service, and the advances made in the mobile game market in the last few years. Even if it isn’t immediately succesful, we can safely expect Nokia to have a pretty serious attempt at making it successful, so it will be worth keeping an eye on.