Nokia Plans Re-Vamped Ngage Launch This Week


Nokia’s (NYSE: NOK) new Ngage effort will go live this week, morphed into a multiplayer service available across its range of smartphones. The New York Times goes in a bit hard against the old Ngage device (after all, you have to “hoist” most mobiles to your head to make a phone call), but it’s true that the devices did not sell as well as Nokia was expecting…it’s also true that the Ngage Arena was pretty successful. So now Nokia is putting Ngage functionality across a range of handsets, which should improve take-up. “Owners of phones that run N-Gage software will be able to play games against friends, sample, buy and recommend new games from their phones, and compete in large tournaments.” A lot of the new features are based on research conducted with design firm Ideo, such as being able to sample games before they buy them, see what games their friends have and whether they are online, and see how many points someone has earned in the game so they know the skill level before playing them. There’ll also be recommendation features. “Ideo also noted that many users had never discovered most of the features of the original N-Gage. So the designers helped Nokia put shortcuts on the main N-Gage screen to display information without forcing users to dig through menus. They also urged Nokia to streamline the service by giving up some features, like

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