Nokia abandons N-Gage hardware Ups development support

Dedicated handset a burden as Smartphones take lead

Posted by Staff
Nokia abandons N-Gage hardware – Ups development support
Nokia has essentially ditched the N-Gage hardware project, though is planning to keep the brand and platform for use in a range of Smartphones, the Finnish cellular giant explained today in a press release.

The N-Gage QD and original 'cheese sandwich' models have been dropped, faced with consumer apathy, critical mockery and publisher disinterest, though a new development kit has been created with Nokia showing its enhanced wares to its development partners in Helsinki and Vancouver earlier this month. It is believed that the N-Gage brand will be maintained, though incorporated as an addition or value-add to future Smartphones carrying the Nokia insignia.

The new middleware promises ease of development for a new phase in Nokia mobile gaming, with the firm hinting that it intends to drop more 'traditional' gaming in favour of implementing a range of massively multiplayer minigames and of course, online RPGs. As the N-Gage simply couldn't compete with other machines on the market, (who would buy SSX for a phone with framerate issues when they could spend the same amount on another version?) the new plan, on the surface, is the most interesting thing Nokia has attempted to do since the launch of its N-Gage and the conference it hosted in Los Angeles which saw some staff from a certain online publication, ahem, hijack a double-decker bus for a joyride up the freeway.

We actually expect the revised Nokia stance to be something of a success, with positive feedback gathered from workshops it hosted to outline the functionality of its new middleware. The fact that the concept seeks to ditch direct competition with other platforms and become self-pollinating, combined with Nokia's massive, if shrinking, marketshare of the global cellular industry is a potentially potent mix.

Of course the whole thing could be doomed, as Nintendo is poised to release what has been described to us as a 'cell phone-inspired' redesigned DS complete with voice over IP capabilities, but you didn't hear that from us. Just bookmark this page and head back mid-next year as the new DS and its endless free voice-talk is announced (and this story ignored by our usual naysayers).

You can call it VoIPton.

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Comments

way 21 Dec 2005 11:32
1/7
Finally this .. Nintendo Phone is getting here (originally pre-DS Gameboy idea). So what details are there, can we transfer this to a thread to discuss this?

Are we going to see an single screened version of the DS (please)? What news of the Gameboy Advance 2 based on the gamecube, or the new version of the PSP. The 3D LCD (that sharp had on phones in Japan) or OEL. When, oh when, can we get out of this drought of mediocrity.
way 21 Dec 2005 11:55
2/7
Tell you what Nintendo, the things I want to see is watch like GBA, DS single screened OEL PDA Phone with slide out keyboard (like Sidekick but neonode looking) plain single screen DS to replace GBA, an PSP kicking GBA 2 based on enhanced 600Mhz-1Ghz gamecube (cross compatible with revolution), more mini tablet sized, with 640*480 or 720*480 (OEL or 3D LCD) with TV out wireless box. For DS and GBA 2, an online store with homemade games, home made development system, and operating system like Linux, with organising/word processing software etc.

For Nokia, what were you thinking, with the N-cage, 1 and two? Horizontal, 320*240+ touch screen in game mode, vertical in phone mode, compact almost GBA Micro in size, with descent 3D performance (128Mhz plus) and cheap price that would have helped the Ncage 1 & 2 greatly when they were released. Now days this would hardly would be enough. If you want a good phone design that could do with game pads and buttons added for now days, buy out Neonode, enhance it and sell it half the price.

Guys, check www.neonode.com not a game machine but boy if it was, they usually release the new model early each year.
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fluffstardx 21 Dec 2005 12:50
3/7
Now you're just being plain silly.

The Dual Screen (to give the DS it's full name) wouldn't exactly work with a single screen would it? Or else it'd be a touch-screen GBA.

Office software's been on the way ages. It uses the touch screen keyboard on the lower screen, with the document on the top one. Seems pretty obvious, really.

VOIP on DS seemed pretty obvious too, what with the inbuilt mic and all. It even has a headset mic port (the little port next to the headphone jack).
Ditto 21 Dec 2005 13:06
4/7
fluffstardx wrote:
VOIP on DS seemed pretty obvious too, what with the inbuilt mic and all. It even has a headset mic port (the little port next to the headphone jack).


It's a pity you couldn't use the VoIP while walking around.

I think that the redesign might be too late - by the time it gets released in 2007, most people will have bought a PSP.
majin dboy 21 Dec 2005 16:58
5/7
Mr Way,ur post Melted my brain.
Emperor Samoth 21 Dec 2005 17:45
6/7
I never bought any games for my N-Gage QD. I got the phone for free ($300 Rebates and a one year contract) and I got Master System/Game Gear and Genesis Emulators with some legally owned ROMs to keep me busy for a long time.

The QD is a pretty good Bluetooth phone, so I don't know why people gave it a bad rap. I have no regrets so far.
way 22 Dec 2005 04:32
7/7
fluffstardx wrote:
Now you're just being plain silly.


No, not really, I know what technology is out there and what can be effectively achieved in the time frame (there are low powered ARM processors, of DS speed, that can run in a watch) I have seen many things that get delayed or not released by Nintendo. But that is my point about the office software etc, they were talked about ages ago, but how much longer.

The dual screen on the DS, is completely unnecessary, a bigger screen in portrait mode can do exactly the same (and cost less).

But this is effectively an wish list, lets see what really comes out.

By the way, when I said N-Cage 2 I was referring to the QD.
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