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Nokia S60 handsets
Nokia is making N-Gage a software, rather than hardware, affair

Nokia today announced at GDC its latest development with the N-Gage mobile gaming brand. Rather than launching its own game-centric phone, Nokia is now concentrating on the N-Gage as a software platform to run on Nokia S60 3rd edition devices. Announced at the conference is its next generation software development kit (SDK 1.0) for the new N-Gage games platform, which Nokia says will enable developers to focus on one code-base to create social connected games across a range of Nokia S60 3rd edition devices.


"The availability of the N-Gage SDK 1.0 today is the corner stone of Nokia's new development eco-system for developers to create connected mobile games in a familiar C++ environment," said Mark Ollila, Director of Technology & Strategy and Nokia Games Publishing, Nokia. "This single development channel impacts positively on development cycles and budgeting as well as creating new social connected gaming experiences that will lead the way to how people discover, buy and play games in the future."


Also part of the announcement is word of a new compliance testing program for SNAP Mobile's Java platform. Nokia believes that the testing program will lower the cost barrier of entry for game developers by combining a self-testing process with a traditional certification program.


"We are reinforcing our commitment to this industry with two significant initiatives that will help the mobile games industry evolve. Our N-Gage platform will deliver a global games platform that leverages the performance of the tens of millions of S60 converged devices that we are shipping each year," said Gregg Sauter, Director of Games Publishing, Nokia. "Likewise, our support for Java development continues to evolve with more tools for developers supporting SNAP Mobile."


Nokia introduced a range of games for the new mobile gaming platform including Gameloft's Asphalt 3, Street Rules, Brothers In Arms, Hell's Highway, Brain Challenge, Midnight Pool and EA Mobile's FIFA 2008. Nokia also revealed that games publishers Glu Mobile, Indiagames and THQ Wireless will be publishing a selection of mobile games and content for the N-Gage games platform. The first Glu title for the platform will be World Series of Poker Texas Hold'em.

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Probably the only one....
By FITCamaro on 3/5/2007 3:53:41 PM , Rating: 1
to actually read this. Since no one cares.

RE: Probably the only one....
By bbomb on 3/5/2007 3:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, I stopped reading midway through the second paragraph because it I got bored.

RE: Probably the only one....
By ToeCutter on 3/5/2007 4:36:16 PM , Rating: 3

Same here! Spent more time reading comments than article.

Any N-Gage in guaranteed to fail.

(Until Nintendo stops making DS Lites, anyway...)

RE: Probably the only one....
By xsilver on 3/5/2007 5:11:35 PM , Rating: 3
well if you'd read the article, it states that they're not making the n-gage anymore, but rather transforming it into a software platform. phones such as the N/E series will all become potential n gages and would only require a software upgrade and the purchase of the SD card games.

costs you nothing if you already have the phone.
now if they could only make some decent games.
such a small device though only lends itself to strategy games I think.

RE: Probably the only one....
By hecksign on 3/5/2007 9:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
if only they could summarize this long and boring article like you did, that would be great.

RE: Probably the only one....
By oTAL on 3/6/2007 1:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
Something along the lines of a civilization game would be welcome... along with "play by e-mail" replaced with "play by mms". :)
As for the dull moments waiting for something in a crowded room (doctor, job interview, whatever) I'd go for a doom style bluetooth shooter by they'd have to make a decent controller first... a analogue style joystick or, better yet, a mini touchpad would make playing a bluetooth shooter with strangers quite in a waiting room quite appealing... When you have a platform like the series 60 N-Gage you can include stuff like BT broadcasted invites that make gamers phones vibrate so that they know a gamer wants to start a session... pretty cool to me...!

I need to stop coding and go to business development!...
ARGH! Do I need to get to 30 yo before turning ideas into products?

By darkpaw on 3/5/2007 5:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
I actually own an N-gage QD and I've played the nokia card game on it more then anything else (which will run on any nokia phone).

Only great game I've ever owned for it is Rifts, but playing a turned based strategy like that on the phone tires out the fingers real fast.

RE: Again?
By javiergf on 3/6/2007 11:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
You must be one of these 500,000 people worldwide who actually bought an N-GAGE, the biggest mistake in the history of Nokia.

Why not a GameBoy DS Lite?
By dude on 3/5/2007 11:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it cheaper and smarter to buy a Gambeboy DS Lite?

1. You don't use the batteries on your phone, so you don't drain it when you do need it.

2. Less strain on your hands and fingers.

3. Proven great library games and plenty of fun, whith many more hours of playtime than your phone can ever cough up.

4. Gameboy has a longer lifespan than your phone. You will have changed your phone a few times before you will upgrade your Gameboy DS.

5. Higher resell value for the GB games than the Ngage cards. Seriously, who would really be looking for Ngage games?

RE: Why not a GameBoy DS Lite?
By stugatz on 3/6/2007 1:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
Why I have an N-Gage QD and love it:

1. It is a gaming device that also makes phone calls. Battery life has never been an issue for me, On the original battery, I still get 10+ hours of gameplay/videos/talktime

2. The QD has a great design, I think its actually more ergonomic and easier on my hands than my DS Lite

3. I have every NES game ever made on my memory card, plus all the GB/GBC games I want, plus whatever Nokia and its developers puke out, which isnt great, but some are entertaining. Plus free Java games, theres bound to be something entertaining out there that you will find.

4. I have owned my N-Gage QD for over 2 years now, no upgrades, the only thing to come out in phones since then is better cameras (I dont give a sh!t), better music players (I own an ipod, plus the QD plays music just fine for me) and better wifi/wireless high speed 'net access, which is too expensive for me, plus unreliable and not very important to me yet.

5. I dont sell any of my games, for anything, so resale is a non-issue for me. But what it does mean is that I can buy other peoples used N-Gage games for cheap :)

So that's why I like my N-Gage QD, lots of people didnt like them, but thats their problem, not mine, it works perfectly for what I want. The thing is a tank, I've dropped it more times than I can count, it's a bit scratched up, but it is still working perfectly. I also like the bluetooth multiplayer games available, several of my friends also have one, so we play quite frequently and its fun, then when the boss comes back, it just looks like we are taking a few seconds off work to text or something, not playing video games, it's a bit harder to pull that one off if we both have our DS's out.

Anyway, I cant wait for the new generation of the N-Gage platform to come out, my next phone will definitely be a Nokia. If the N95 got FCC clearance tomorrow, I would own one, but I'll keep waiting patiently....

By AkumaX on 3/6/2007 12:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
gotta love the picture of Picard.


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