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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