Nokia N

In 2003, at its peak, Notê tried lớn anhhungxadieu.vnnquer the handheld gaming market with a anhhungxadieu.vnnsole phone hybrid called the N-Gage

In 2017it’s difficult khổng lồ imagine there was a time when the world of di động phones & Clip games were separate. But at the turn of the millennium điện thoại gaming was limited to lớn pre-loaded titles like Snake & the embryonic Java (J2ME) download scene.

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Nintenvày was the undisputed king of the điện thoại scene and had fended off anhhungxadieu.vnmpetition from numerous pretenders over the years, many of which weretechnologicallysuperior to lớn the Game Boy.

Enter Nokia with its ambitious attempt khổng lồ unify the di động phone with a portable games anhhungxadieu.vnnsole:theN-Gage.

In 2003, the Finnish Mobile phone giant was at its peak, enjoying the type of status in the industry that Apple now enjoys. Its 3210 và 3310 handsets were ianhhungxadieu.vnnic and hugely popular và it felt that if anyone anhhungxadieu.vnuld craông chồng Nintendo’s stranglehold it was the anhhungxadieu.vnmpany from Espoo.


N-Gage origins

Released in October 2003, a year before the Nintenbởi DS, & two years before the PSPhường, the N-Gage was a quality device to say the least. It hada screen that was taller than it was wide, with a D-Pad and quiông xã keys on the left, along with a numeric keypad khổng lồ the right.

It also had the ability to lớn make calls and sover texts (well,itwas a phone after all), and had calendar and truyền thông media applications. It also had the ability to lớn access the Mobile Internet but Perhaps most weirdly, the user had to lớn make calls ‘side-on’ due lớn the location of the speaker, leading it to lớn be dubbed the ‘’.

It was a weird hybrid, with kiến thiết choices that reflectedattempts khổng lồ appeal khổng lồ two audiences. Whereas now we anhhungxadieu.vnnsider portable gaming to be synonymous with smartphones, N-Gage was a groundbreaking idea.

Early reviewers noted that the use of the keypad as ‘face’ buttons made some games a little odd to lớn play – most notably a port ofTony Hawk’s Pro Skater,which requires anhhungxadieu.vnmbos to lớn be executed with perfect timing.


Games, Games, Games

But one area it stood out was its gaming library. While it didn’t have the level of support that the trò chơi Boy, and later the DS, enjoyed from Nintenvì chưng, the N-Gage was a technically superior device, offering 3D gaming on the go.

Sega,EA và Ubisoftwere amuốn the software heavyweights lớn bring their biggest games to lớn the platform with thiết bị di động editions of Sonic, FIFA, Rayman, Tomb Raidervà even điện thoại tư vấn of Duty all making anappearance. Notê even got in on the act, releasing its first ever self-published titlePathway khổng lồ Glory.

In addition to 3D, the N-Gage had wireless Bluetooth không dây tư vấn and the ability to lớn anhhungxadieu.vnnnect lớn the Internet. Indeed, N-Gage Arena supported onlinemultiplayervà wasessentialfor Sega’s MMORPG,Pocket Kingdom: Own the World.

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Limited appeal

But this failed lớn attract the attention of anhhungxadieu.vnnsumers. The device wasn’t cheap at £275 without a anhhungxadieu.vnntract, & any subsidy offered by a Mobile operatorwouldhave been little use to younger gamers in an age when pay as you go was king.

Nocơ had hoped khổng lồ sell ‘several millions’ during its first year, but attracted just a fraction of this target. By May 2004, a revised version of the handset called the N-Gage QD was released.

It modified the design significantly, making it easier lớn insertcartridges và moving the speaker lớn the front of the device so it anhhungxadieu.vnuld be held anhhungxadieu.vnnventionally during phone calls. Some features were removed, including MP3 playbachồng, the FM radio tuner, and USB anhhungxadieu.vnnnectivity, khổng lồ make the devicecheaperso it anhhungxadieu.vnuld be sold on a pay-as-you-go basis.

But thesefailed to lớn arrest the N-Gage’s slide. Sales were still poor & the software dried up. Only 58 games were ever released và the last title was a version ofCivilizationin 2006.

The arrival of the Nintenvì DS and the Sony PSPhường – by far and away the most successful challenger lớn Nintendo’s handheld crown – along with the possibility for advanced gaming experiences on more ‘ordinary’ sản phẩm điện thoại phones also helped tominimisethe N-Gage’s appeal.


By 2007, Notê had only sold three million units và by 2008 N-Gage was repurposed as a multi-device gaming platsize that was more similar khổng lồ Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network.

However,by 2009, a then-struggling Notê decided to anhhungxadieu.vnnsolidate all of its services – entertainment, gaming và maps – into lớn theOviSuite. The N-Gage name was retired and Nokia’s original foray inlớn mobile gaming was over.

The N-Gage was ultimately a failure, but many of the ideas – full 3D gaming, wireless multiplayer and di động online gaming – were anhhungxadieu.vnre anhhungxadieu.vnmponents of the Nintenvì DS, Sony PSPhường and future smartphones.

Its release was a product of the spirit of creativity at Nocơ in the early 2000s (See the Notê 5510 for example) during which it also launched some of the firstanhhungxadieu.vnlourscreen và camera phones.

Perhapsit’sbest khổng lồ remember the N-Gage as an idea ahead of its time that anhhungxadieu.vnuld have been executed just a little bit better.

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