Rumours spreading across the internet have suggested that Nokia's N-Gage gaming and mobile phone unit may be about to get killed off - but Nokia has told us that they're not hanging up on N-Gage just yet.[br]"Nokia have no intention of shutting down the N-Gage," we were told by a spokesperson for N-Gage today. "We are completely committed to the platform. It's not going anywhere."[br][br]The speculation arose when technology website The Inquirer reported that Nokia are planning to shut down the N-Gage R&D and production facility in Germany amongst a number of budget cutbacks. Quoting sources close to Nokia's HQ, The Inquirer suggested that the closure meant the N-Gage was N-Trouble.[br][br]"These rumours are completely without foundation," we were told.[br][br]The N-Gage, which was developed in house at Nokia and combines the functions of a handheld console and a mobile phone, limped onto the scene back in 2003. A number of design faults - including the need to dismantle the unit to change games and a mouthpiece that required you to hold the phone sideways against your head - turned both gamers and mobile phone fans against the system.[br][br]Nokia managed to regain some credibility by releasing the vastly improved N-Gage QD last summer. A smaller unit and sleeker styling certainly made the unit more appealing, but sales remained light.[br][br]But Nokia see a bright future for their platform, even with terrifying competition just around the corner in the shape of Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP. "We're looking at the strongest line-up of games yet for N-Gage," said the spokesperson. "There's been so much money and effort poured into the system we're not going to pull out now."[br][br]There are indeed a few interesting N-Gage titles on the horizon, with WW2 strategy sim Pathways to Glory receiving favourable reviews and MMORPG Pocket Kingdoms gathering buzz.[br][br]Nonetheless, earlier this month N-Gage was dealt an embarrassing blow by software chart compilers ChartTrack, who delisted the platform from the weekly multiformat sales chart citing "a lack of interest" among gamers. Nokia claim that N-Gage software sales are still being calculated for the monthly chart, but admit that sales are low in comparison with other formats.[br][br]Whatever the outcome of the speculation, N-Gage faces a tough 2005 as DS and PSP rev up for their European launches in March. With two dedicated handheld games platforms with proven track records available for - if speculation is to be believed - relatively affordable prices, N-Gage may well have to give up the fight for survival.[br][br]We'll bring you more news on the fate of the N-Gage as it emerges.
As much as I hate to say it...the N-Gage will probably not survive past this year and will probably get killed off in 2006 - unless something miraculous occurs. Such a pity since it did have quite an initial impact - until they realized their initial design flaws. And although the QD did grab some more attention but the lack of games did turn off a lot of folks. Only now that more and better games are being released....but its already too late. The DS and PSP will most definately slaughter the N-Gage...since it already features a more superior hardware(although i'm quite interested to see how the pricing will affect the PSP..) The N-gage initially did have the most technology for a handheld system at it's release(PS1 graphics on a handheld!!)....considering it's based on the Symbian OS which run most Nokia's cel-phones. Thats old news now....But unless Nokia shoots out a more advance system with a better inital game line up....then they may as well stick to cel-phones. The ironic thing is that some of the newer Nokia phones are more advance than the N-gage itself....and the other problem is...would gamers want to go out and buy ANOTHER N-gage....?
I like the N-gage though and it served its purpose....but I have no faith in it's future. Its gonna be an interesting year...
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)